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How Are Child Support Payments Decided in an Ontario Divorce?

How are child support payments decided in an Ontario Divorce?

Parents of a child in Ontario must provide child support payments, regardless of whether or not they were married. There are a variety of ways that the level of support can be determined and calculated, which will be explored in this post.

Child Support Payments in the Case of a Divorce

When a relationship has ended in divorce, part of the terms of the divorce will decide who is the “custodial parent” – which is the parent who the child will spend all or the majority of their time with. The “non-custodial parent” will be required to make support payments to the custodial parent, regardless of whether or not they have visitation or access rights.

How are Child Support Payments Calculated?

A variety of factors are considered when calculating child support payments. Things that are taken into consideration include the income level of both parents, the number of children involved, and the precise arrangements in the specific case. These laws will also vary slightly from province to province. You can find a detailed look at the base amount of child support payments on the Department of Justice’s website.

How are Child Support Payments Negotiated?

Child support payments can be arranged by the separating parties outside of court using their own legal representatives to assist with the negotiation.

Alternatively, parents can also use a third-party mediator to help decide on the amount. This mediator will take the needs of both parties, as well as the children, into account to determine the best course of action.

If a resolution is not possible, a judge will decide on the appropriate numbers for child support payments. This process generally is more expensive and will take more time.

Whichever approach is used, both parties will need to put their agreement into writing and acquire signatures from everyone involved. This makes the agreement legally binding and defines the terms precisely so that there are no misunderstandings.

A commonly mistaken belief is that child support payments end when the child reaches the age of 18. In fact, child support payments only end when the child no longer meets the definition of “a child of the marriage”. These terms can either be written into the original child support agreement or can be determined by a court of law.

How Do I Determine What is Fair When it Comes to Child Support Payments?

To get fair treatment for child support payments, the best course of action is to seek advice from a family law lawyer. Your legal representative(s) will be able to offer guidance on the best course of action that is specific to your situation and to the region where you live. It may be necessary to acquire legal help if your life situation changes as well – for example, if you have a significant change in income, if one of the parties involved moves away, or if one of the parties is remarried.