Child support is defined as the payment that a parent or caregiver makes to another parent or caregiver for the financial support of a dependant child. The duration of child support will vary depending on whether your situation falls under the Divorce Act or the Family Law Act.
What is The Table Amount or Child Support Payment Amount?
The Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines are regulations that prescribe the quantum of child support based on the number of children and the payor’s income. The Child Support Guidelines propose to set fair standards of support obligations so that children will benefit from the parent’s financial means after separation; reduce conflict between parents by establishing the calculation objectively; improve efficiency and encourage settlement; and, create consistency in the treatment of parents or caregivers and children in similar circumstances.
The amount of child support that a payor-parent is obligated to pay is often referred to as the "table amount" as this number is derived from a table of calculations outlined in the Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines.
In addition to the Guideline monthly child support or the table amount, the Child Support Guidelines provide for a payment of “special and/or extraordinary expenses” which in addition to the table amount of child support, is paid proportionately by each parent or caregiver based on their respective incomes.
Commonly Asked Questions About Child Support
An agreement can be made between two parents to lessen child support payments. This agreement must be filed through the courts.
You can also file for a reduction in payments due to “undue hardship”. This petition is often used when the payor has excessively high debts, high costs associated with visiting a child, a legal duty to support other children from other families, or legal duty to support someone who cannot legally support themselves.
In Canada not paying child support comes with a few large penalties including:
- Garnishing of wages
- Garnishing of federal payments
- Suspension of drivers or marine license
- Suspension of passport
- Seizure of bank accounts
- Reports to credit agencies
- Jail time
Child support is paid as long as the child is considered a dependent. The child is no longer considered a dependent if they marry or leave home.
Commonly the parent who makes a higher wage will pay child support in order to pay the net difference based on the table amount calculated. Sometimes special circumstances arise that need to be decided by the court.
Child support payments made or received should be claimed on your tax return. It is not necessarily considered an income or deduction but must be reported.
No child support payments are for the financial benefit of the child. The new spouse's income is not considered when calculating child support payments. The new Spouse is not legally required to provide financial support for the child.