Child support is money paid from one parent to the other to support the cost of the extra bedrooms for children, food, clothing and other incidentals. How much is paid and who pays whom are issues to be decided by the separating couple.
If you pay money to, or receive money from, your child’s other parent for the financial support of your child, it is called “child support.”
“Child Support” is considered to be for the benefit of the child but it is not paid directly to the child. The amount of child support is based on the number of children and the income of the payor. The money paid is not tax deductable and thus the money received is tax free and doesn't have to be declared as income.
Even if your children are over 18 or 19, they may be entitled to support if they cannot become independent because of an illness, disability or “other cause” and parents may still have an obligation to support an older child going to university or college.
The amount of child support paid may also vary based on how much of the week or month or year the children live with you and how much they spend with the other parents. (See Custody and Access)
In Ontario the Federal Child Support Guidelines apply, and set a monthly amount based on the payor’s income and number of children in the form of a grid or chart.
The payor’s income is decided by a review of their T1 Tax Return but the court can take into consideration other factors such as whether they are self employed or work on commission.
If a payor tries to hide their income, a judge can “impute” income, that is, set an income level based on the payor’s lifestyle and previous earnings. Also the court demands documentation of a year or more, not just a month's pay period.
Once an order for child support is made, it is a court order and you must comply or risk being in contempt of court.
Even if the other parent withholds access, moves, or you lose your job, you cannot stop payments unless your spouse agrees because of the change in circumstances. Alternatively, you must apply to a court for relief noting your circumstances have changed dramatically since the order was first made.
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