Debunking Myths About Child Support
Child support can be a confusing issue for many families, with confusion leading to child support not being paid or overdue, leading to several stressful financial issues. To make matters worse, several child support myths are circulating that lead to more stress and confusion. To help you get the clarity you deserve, we’ve compiled this guide that debunks five myths about child support in Ontario!
'Once My Child Turns 18, I No Longer Have To Pay Child Support!'
This is a common myth that leaves some parents convinced that financial obligations end when a child reaches the age of 18. While some of this statement is true, there’s a caveat. Child support can end at the age of 18, as long as the child in question is no longer financially dependent or under their parent’s control.
So, if your child has moved out, can live off their own income and are not relying on their parents for basic maintenance costs, then child support can end. If a child is still in full-time education, financially reliant on their parents and living at home with their maintenance costs paid for by their parents, then child support must continue.
If You Are The Parent Who Makes The Most Money, You Pay The Most Child Support
In Ontario, child support is meant to equalize parent pay, but there are a few variables. Even if a parent earns more, they might not have to pay child support. This will depend on the custody between the parents. If the parent with the highest salary also takes on the majority share of raising the children, then they are the child support recipient, not the payor.
If The Payor Parent Quits Their Job, They Don't Have To Pay Child Support
Child support isn’t about the parent’s financial state, and a court of law will argue that no matter what the parent’s employment status is, the child’s best interest and basic maintenance must come first. That means the payor will still need to pay child support no matter what their earning status is . However, courts may adjust payments to suit a parent’s earning capability better. This is known as ‘imputing’.
You Can't Modify Finalized Child Support Agreements
Times change, and income patterns alternate, especially if you begin paying child support when your child is very young. It would be impractical for courts to assume that conditions cannot change in 18 years, so payors must submit earnings updates if the other parent requests. If a parent’s pay increase increases, child support arrangements can be adjusted to accommodate this increase.
Additionally, change in parenting time can also adjust finalized child support agreements. For example, if a parenting arrangement decreases from 50% to 30% of parenting time, the payor may be asked to pay more for their child.
'I Am Struggling Financially, So I Don't Have To Pay Child Support!'
Parents will not be able to simply decide to stop paying child support in the event of financial difficulties. Parents must come to a signed agreement to modify the finalized support agreement. In most cases, you may be able to reduce the amount of child support you pay to better reflect your earnings, but you’re unlikely to stop it outright.
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