Child Support2018-10-10T22:58:53+00:00

Child Support

Child Support Guidelines
Extraordinary Expenses
Self-Employment Income
Family Responsibility Office
Termination of Child Support
Shared Parenting

Child Support Guidelines

Child support is considered to be the right of the child and is perhaps the only definite area in family law.  An access parent must pay child support to the parent with whom the child resides.  The monthly amount is determined in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

The Child Support Guidelines were introduced in 1997 to remove argument and conflict between the parents regarding the amount. The Child Support Guidelines include a straightforward chart that states how much an access parent has to pay in child support for his or her child/ren.  The amount is not based solely on the child’s needs, but rather on the lifestyle that the payor parent’s income can provide.  Plainly speaking, the higher your income, the higher your child support obligation, and the more children you have, the more child support you will pay.   The Federal Child Support Guidelines are found here.

Unless the parties have shared parenting or the payor parent can make a successful claim for undue financial hardship, the non-resident parent will be required to pay child support in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

Since it is considered a right of the child, child support payments are not deductible from the income of the payor parent nor are the amounts taxed in the hands of the recipient parent.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Special or Extraordinary Expenses – Section 7 Expenses

On top of regular monthly child support, the access parent may also have to contribute to a portion of the children’s extraordinary or special expenses, such as daycare, summer camp and university tuition.

Once the activity has been deemed to be a legitimate extraordinary or special expense in which the child should be partaking, how much of the additional expense each parent will be ordered to pay will depend on the parties’ incomes.

In general, parties pay for special or extraordinary expenses in proportion to their incomes.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Self-Employment Income – Family Business Income

In determining child support, much confusion is caused by the case of the self-employed parent.   When a parent is an employee and s/he has no other source of income (i.e. rental income, dividend income, etc.), determining his or her support obligation is simple, one need only look at her T4 slip (assuming that all taxable benefits are included in the T4) and the Child Support Guidelines (in the case of child support) and Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines/SSAG (in the case of spousal support).  When the parent is self-employed, one needs to examine the payer’s income tax return and corporate tax return in considerable detail.  Many items that are legitimate business write offs for tax purposes are not legitimate write offs for the purpose of determining a parent’s child support obligation.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Family Responsibility Office

The Family Responsibility Office (“FRO”) is a government-funded agency whose mandate it is to collect support from the payor and give this money to the recipient.

The Family Responsibility Office/FRO enforces both Child Support and Spousal Support.

The Family Responsibility Office has significant powers – it can garnish the payor’s salary, it can negatively impact the payor’s credit report, it can suspect the payor’s license, it can place a writ against the payor’s property, it can suspend the payor’s driver’s license, it can suspend the payor’s passport, and it can ultimately send the payor to jail if he or she fails to pay child and/or spousal support pursuant to a court Order or the written agreement of the parties.

Sometimes, the payor may bring a court action against the Family Responsibility Office to put a hold on its enforcement actions.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Termination of Child Support

A common misconception with child support is that it will automatically end when the child turns eighteen (18).  True, if an able-bodied, mentally alert, self-sufficient child turns eighteen (18) and is no longer enrolled in an educational institution on a full-time basis, the access parent may be successful in terminating his or her child support obligation.  However, if the child has a disability, child support may be continued.  Also, if the child attends university or college full-time, the access parent will likely be paying child support for that child until she completes her first undergraduate degree or even longer.  The access parent may also be contributing to the child’s tuition and residency costs.  However, keep in mind that just because the child lives away from home does not mean that the access parent only has to contribute to the child’s education and residency costs.  If, for example, the adult child returns home to her mother’s home during school holidays, the access parent may be ordered to pay the mother child support in addition to the payments already made for the child’s educational expenses.  Often, access parents will be paying child support well into the child’s twenties.  Children are expensive.

An access parent may successfully stop paying child support for the adult child if the adult child has unilaterally severed the parent-child bond.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Child Support and Shared Parenting

Section 9 of the Child Support Guidelines (SOR/97-175 as am.) addresses child support in shared parenting arrangements:

9 Where a spouse exercises a right of access to, or has physical custody of, a child for not less than 40 per cent of the time over the course of a year, the amount of the child support order must be determined by taking into account

(a) the amounts set out in the applicable tables for each of the spouses;

(b) the increased costs of shared custody arrangements; and

(c) the conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse and of any child for whom support is sought.

To use lay language, if a parent hits the often elusive 40 per cent threshold, s/he can apply for a reduction in child support.

Before we embark upon analysis of the impact of shared parenting on child support, we must first determine what actually constitutes shared parenting.   At this time, there are two (2) key approaches to determining if the shared parenting threshold has been passed.

  • The first approach calls for a counting of hours over an entire year. Meaning, the court will count how much time a child is in each parent’s care.
  • The second approach is to just count overnights/days. If the access parent now has the child 6 out of 14 nights then s/he has “shared parenting.”

Assuming that one has passed the shared parenting threshold, we are faced with the important question of – so how much support is owing?

The leading case in determining quantum of child support in shared parenting arrangements is Contino v. Leonelli-Contino, [2005] S.C.J. No. 65.   In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that we do not stop at the set-off calculation of child support.  Rather, parties should bring to the court actual evidence of their expenses related to the child, ideally in the form of a children’s budget.

To sum up, like many, many other aspects of family law, determining child support in shared  parenting situations is not clear-cut or simple.    At almost every step, there is room for exaggeration/under-estimation and simply different applications of the law.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

 

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Mahdi Leite Family Law will provide you with the information and legal tools you need. To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call 416-284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilyLaw.ca

A new path lies ahead. Mahdi Leite Family Law will guide you.

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