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1. What is child support?

Child support is money paid by one parent to the other parent to help cover the basic costs associated with caring for their child(ren). Usually, child support is paid by the parent with whom the child(ren) spend less time; however, even if the child(ren) resides with each parent for about 50% of the time, the parent with the higher income may still have to pay child support to the other parent. Read more about child support…

2. How do you calculate the amount of child support payable?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines and/or the Child Support Guidelines allow for the calculation of the basic monthly amount of child support payable by the payor parent to the recipient parent using the payor parent’s gross annual income and the number of children for whom they owe child support. Read more about calculating the amount of child support payable…

3. If we lived as common-law partners, will I still have to pay child support?

Yes. Whether or not you were legally married, the child(ren)’s right to child support does not change, and support payable would be in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

4. How do I enforce child support?

This is highly dependent on the relationship between you and your former partner. However, there are a few options available to you:

  • You and your former spouse/partner can choose to retain family law lawyers who can help draft a Separation Agreement. After your Separation Agreement has been signed by both parties, you or your former spouse/partner may choose to file it with the court so that the payment of child support may be enforced by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO);
  • If you and your former spouse/partner cannot agree on the terms of a Separation Agreement or have a very volatile relationship then you could apply to the court, either by yourself or with the assistance of a retained family law lawyer, and ask the court to make an Order regarding the child support payable for your child(ren). Should this be the course of action that you choose, the court may make a determination for child support payable by the payor parent to the recipient parent and issue an Order to this effect. This Order can then be enforced by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).
5. If we have shared custody, does anyone have to pay child support?

In most cases, the parent who does not have primary residence of the child(ren) will be the payor parent (i.e. they will make the basic monthly child support payment to the other parent).

One parent has primary residence of the child(ren) when the child(ren) spend more than 60% of their time with that parent. Read more about shared custody…