Toronto Family Lawyers - Child Support

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Toronto Child Support Lawyers

What Is Child Support?

Child support is exactly what it sounds like: financial support for children. It goes without saying that children need financial support from their parents, and the law says that they have a legal right to it. Child support is typically paid by one parent to another, who acts as the guardian for that child's money by spending it on things like clothing, education, leisure activities, and other expenses.


Child support is typically paid by the non-custodial parent, or the parent who has access, as opposed to custody, to the custodial parent (which is the parent with whom the child or children live). As a result, the child's primary residence, which is where they live the majority of the time, will have an impact on the non-custodial parents' child support  rights, as well as obligations.


If you are in need of legal representation for a child support matter, then you've come to the right place. At LawyerSelect.ca, we work with some of the best Toronto Family Lawyers who have the competency and empathy required to ensure your children receive the child support that they're entitled to during this tough time.

How Do I Get Child Support?

Under the Ontario family law, there are several ways for a custodial parent to obtain child support payments from a non-custodial parent. The most obvious of the ways is to apply to a family court for child support, whether by way of the federal Divorce Act, or the provincial Family Law Act. Under this method, the family law judge will determine both the issues of entitlement and quantum based on the above Acts, as well as the Child Support Guidelines (CSG). This method is typically used by couples that are not on speaking terms, and require a court to determine the issue.


If, however, the former spouses are on speaking terms, and are able to come to an agreement on child support without the intervention of a family law judge, then the two parents can formulate the appropriate quantum of child support payable, so long as it is in accordance with the CSG. If that's the case, then it may be a wise decision to incorporate this informal agreement on child support into a formalized agreement, whether by way of a separation agreement, or divorce order. The idea here is to make sure the agreement is reduced to writing.


However, for spouses who are in high conflict situations where communication has all but broken down, then the better solution is to seek the services of a Toronto Family Lawyer who specializes in child support enforcement, and who can participate in mediation or arbitration, where a quick and cost-effective determination as to child support can be made. At LawyerSelect.ca, we specialize in connecting you with the best Toronto Family Lawyers for your matter.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

The method of calculating child support can be a complicated endeavor, and we never recommend that you represent yourself in either court proceedings, or negotiations, where a final determination on the quantum of child support payable may be made.


As a general rule, child support payments are calculated by ascertaining the gross income of the paying spouse, as well as the number of children that will be included in such payments, and then finding the amounts listed in the CSG for the total monthly payable amount. The table amount is usually determinative of the issue, but there are some instances where the courts will either deviate from the table amount, or add-on to the table amount a specified sum. Those instances are:

  • Where there are special considerations, and agreed to by both parents, which are both objective and financially adequate for the child's, or children's, support.
  • When the child, or children, in question are above the age of majority. In Ontario, the age of majority is 18.
  • When the net income of the paying parent exceeds a sum of $150,000 per year.
  • Where the paying parent is a step-parent to the child, or children, in question, the court may deviate from the table amount.
  • Where the child, or children, require payment for special or extraordinary expenses.
  • Where the custody arrangement between the parents is one where the child's, or children's, time is equitably distributed between both parents.
  • Where payment of the table amount would cause undue hardship to the paying parent.

Who Is Eligible For Child Support?

As a general rule, children conceived during the marriage, or period of common law relationship, are eligible for child support. However, a child that withdraws prematurely from parental care may not be eligible children under the current state of the law.


It is very important to note here that even step-children of the paying parent may be considered eligible children under certain circumstances. The law states that if the paying parent is legally considered to be in loco parentis, which is the Latin term for "in place of a parent", then they may be legally required to provide them with child support payments.


Another very important point to note here is that, by definition, child support is a right that belongs to the child, or children, in question and, as such, cannot be negotiated out of. So, for example, a separation agreement or a prenuptial agreement cannot contract out of the obligation to pay child support when the law requires that you do so. In fact, if a court is not satisfied that appropriate financial arrangements have been made for the care of the child, or children, involved, then it may deny a divorce altogether until such time as it is satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made.

The Paying Parent Got A Raise: Can I Seek An Increase In Child Support Payments?

The simple answer to that question is: yes, you're entitled to bring an application to vary the existing child support order when the paying parents' income increases so as to change the table amount payable under the CSG. The law in this area states that since parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children based on their total income, then any time that income increases, the receiving parent can seek to adjust the quantum of the support payments so that they reflect the amounts found in the CSG.


However, if you and your former spouse entered into an agreement where the right to change the payable amount due to an increase in income was reserved, then the new payable amount may deviate from the table amount set in the CSG. Make sure, however, that any such term in an agreement is individually signed and witnessed so as to avoid any future claims of uninformed consent.


At LawyerSelect.ca, we can connect you with a skilled Toronto Family Lawyer who will ensure that your spouse pays the appropriate amount of child support based on their new, higher income.

Why Do I Need A Toronto Family Lawyer To Enforce Child Support?

The law respecting child support, as well as the Family Court system, are both legally and procedurally time consuming and complicated. Equally as challenging are the out-of-court negotiations that are held between the parties. This is because most people are unfamiliar with family law, and are, therefore, unaware of the rights they may have or the entitlements they may seek.


Those that represent themselves, whether in a court proceeding or during negotiations, run the risk of becoming overwhelmed, stressed out and lost. What usually results is they inadvertently hurt their own case by filing the wrong motion, or negotiating the wrong term. Don't prejudice yourself because you didn't want to spend the money on a lawyer. At LawyerSelect.ca, we can connect you with a Toronto Family Lawyer who specializes in child support enforcement, and who charges reasonable fees, and accepts payment plans. Click the button below to start your search for Toronto Family Lawyers.

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