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  • Charles Baker

7 Things You Should Know About Child Support in Ontario

One of the most asked-about family law issues our child support lawyer at Baker Doodnauth receives daily, revolves around child support in Ontario. If you and the other parent of your child are separating or filing for divorce, one of you could be ordered to pay child support. Below are some of the most important things parents going through a divorce in Ontario need to know about.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Child Support in Ontario

Determining child support is one of the most contested issues in any Ontario divorce that involves minor children. Most disputes surrounding child support occur because of the lack of understanding of the law and the emotions involved in the process.

How Much Is Child Support?

The amount that a parent will be required to pay in child support depends on three factors:

  1. The parent’s gross income (the income before taxes and deductions);

  2. Where the children live after the separation; and

  3. The number of dependent children.

Typically, parents are not allowed to negotiate how much they will pay in child support. Ontario courts use federal and provincial guidelines when calculating child support.

When Does Child Support End?

In Ontario, parents have an obligation to support their children until they turn 18 years old or until they complete post-secondary education unless the child support obligation is terminated before any of that happens. The following circumstances may terminate a parent’s obligation to pay child support before the child’s 18th birthday:

  • The child’s marriage; or

  • The child’s voluntary decision to leave parental control (if the child is at least 16 years old).

Can Parents Change the Child Support Order?

Yes, either parent can request the court to change the child support order. Most parenting plans established after a divorce state that the amount of child support will be calculated annually based on the paying parent’s gross income. Ontario law also allows the parties to request a modification of child support if they have experienced a significant change of circumstances.

Does the Parent Receiving Child Support Need to Spend the Payments on the Children?

No, there is no specific law that would require the parent receiving child support payments to spend the amount on the child. Child support payments may also be used to pay for the child’s basic needs and household necessities.

Who Enforces Child Support Payments in Ontario?

In Ontario, child support payments are enforced by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). The agency has the authority to enforce child and spousal support orders and collect late support payments.

What Happens if a Parent Does Not Pay Child Support?

If a parent fails or refuses to support the child in violation of the child support order, the FRO can enforce the order. Enforcement actions could include wage garnishment, suspension of the driver’s license, a lien against the property, and taking money out of the bank account, among others.

Can a Parent Deny Access to a Child if the Other Parent Does Not Pay Child Support?

If the paying parent refuses or fails to pay child support, the other parent cannot keep the child from seeing their father or mother. Ontario law presumes that it is in the child’s best interests to have a continuing relationship with both parents. Child support and custody/access are two different matters in the eyes of the law.

Contact a Child Support Lawyer at Baker Doodnauth

We have listed some of the most frequently asked questions about child support, that our child support lawyers at Baker Doodnauth receive from prospective clients. If you do not find an answer to your question, contact our law offices in Newmarket, Ontario.

Our child support and divorce lawyer at Baker Doodnauth is dedicated to helping clients in Newmarket/York Region achieve the desired outcome for their child support case.

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