What Does Child Support Cover In Ontario?
Typically, the non-custodial parent, or the parent with whom the child does not primarily reside, is required to pay child support to the custodial parent until the child is 18 years of age. According to the Family Act, child support helps maintain the same standard of living the child had before their parents separated or got divorced. It is based on the parents’ income and is mandatory in Canada.
What Does Child Support Cover?
Child support payments in Ontario are intended to cover a broad range of expenses related to the child’s well-being. There are two types of expenses: basic necessities and special or extraordinary expenses.
1. Basic Necessities
The core purpose of child support is to cover the basic necessities of life for the child. These include:
– Food and Clothing: daily meals, snacks, and clothes and shoes for different seasons and occasions.
– Housing: includes rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other household expenses.
– Healthcare: While many healthcare expenses are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), child support is used towards additional health-related costs not covered by insurance, for example, dental braces or prescription eyewear.
2. Special or Extraordinary Expenses
Beyond the basics, child support may also cover special or extraordinary expenses, often referred to as “Section 7 expenses.” These expenses are made for the child’s interests and depend on the family’s finances. They can include:
– Education: From private school tuition to post-secondary education costs, including tuition, books, and living expenses if the child attends school away from home.
– Extracurricular Activities: Fees for sports, music lessons, and other similar activities. Both parents should agree on which activity to put the money towards.
– Medical and Dental Expenses: Uninsured medical and dental expenses, such as orthodontic treatment, therapy, or specialized medical equipment.
How is child support calculated?
Child Support Guidelines provide a monthly payment table based on the parent’s earnings and the number of children. It is usually updated every year to include rising living costs. If the child spends at least 40% of the time with each parent, the situation is considered shared custody, which affects the monthly support costs.
For example, according to the guidelines, a parent earning $60,000 annually with two children might be required to pay around $895 per month. However, extracurricular activities and childcare cost around $500 extra and are shared proportionally between parents. If both parents have similar incomes, each might contribute an additional $250, bringing the total child support payment to $1,145 per month.
Can child support payments be lowered?
Yes, child support payments can be lowered under certain circumstances. If one parent goes through a change in their financial situation, such as a job loss, a decrease in income, or other major financial hardships, they can appeal for a lower payment. To do this, the parent should provide proof and documents of income loss through family court or by mutual agreement with the other parent in the presence of a legal counsel or mediator.
Find the legal counsel in Etobicoke
Work with a family lawyer that specializes in child support as it can quickly get complicated. Understand your responsibilities and obligations towards your child and provide them with the resources they need to thrive.
Noori Law is currently accepting new clients in Ontario. Please reach out to them to book a consultation.