When a marriage breaks up and there are children involved, determining child support is part of the process of divorce. We can help evaluate rights and obligations related to child support, and provide child support calculations to clients.
The Federal Child Support Guidelines determine the calculation of child support. In most situations, there are three major steps:
- Each parent's Guideline Income is determined. This is a fairly simple process for parties who receive regular employment income. For parties who do not receive income in the form of a paycheque, such as self-employed parties, parties who receive investment income, trust income, disability income, or income from other sources, arriving at their Guideline income may be more complicated.
- The Child Support Guideline Tables are used to determine the amount the payor parent must pay to the primary caregiver parent based on the number of children and the payor parent's Guideline Income.
- The payor parent may be required to pay a share of the following additional expenses:
- Extraordinary extracurricular activities
- Extraordinary school related expenses
- Post secondary expenses
- Child care expenses
- Medical and dental premiums
- Medical expenses exceeding $100.00 per annum, over health insurance
If the payor parent is required to pay a share of any of the above expenses, the amount is calculated as the payor parent's percentage of the combined incomes of both parents. For example, if the payor earns $40,000.00 and the other parent earns $60,000.00, then the payor may be required to pay 40% of these extra expenses (the payor earns 40 percent of the total income).
Other rules for calculating child support may be triggered in special situations. For example:
- Where a parent would suffer from undue hardship from paying the Guideline amount of child support, the table amount may be reduced. It is very difficult to prove undue hardship and a reduction in the table amount will be awarded in only the most dire of situations.
- Where a payor earns in excess of $150,000.00 per annum.
- Where parents share the time they spend with their children in excess of 40%.
- Where parents split caring for the children between two houses such that one child is with one parent primarily and the other child and/or children are with the other parent primarily.
- Where the children are over the age of 18 years.
For more information about child support, please see our Links page.