Child Support Guidelines

What are the Child Support Guidelines?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines contain an easy to use table for each province and territory to determine how much child support needs to be paid from one parent to the other.

The set-formula:

The table uses a set formula which considers:

  1. The number of children that child support should be paid for, and
  2. The annual gross income of the support payor (income before taxes)

Using this information, the table provides a monthly amount in which the support payor must provide to the other parent.

It is important to note, typically a Court adheres to the amount stipulated for by the Guidelines, however, Courts do retain the right to order a different amount of child support in some circumstances.

Who is the support payor of the table amount?

  • If a child resides primarily with one parent, the other parent is the support payor.
  • If a child resides with each parent over 40% of the time, child support should be calculated using the table for both parents. This amount should then be set-off between the parents. This means that the smaller support amount should be subtracted by the larger support amount, this difference is then the child support payable from the higher income earner to the lower income earner.

What should “the table amount” cover?

Remember, there are two components of child support:

  1. The table amount, being the amount of child support calculated using the Child Support Guidelines as explained above, and
  2. Special or extraordinary expenses

The table amount should cover the basic, necessary expenses that the child in question requires, such as clothing and food.

The amount of special or extraordinary expenses in calculated separately. These expenses can include daycare fees, tuition, extracurricular expenses, etc. Unlike the table amount, the amount of special or extraordinary expenses are typically paid proportionately to the income of the parents, regardless of who the child primarily resides with.

Which table should I use if my former partner and I live in different provinces?

In both parents live in Canada but reside in different provinces, you should use the table for the jurisdiction the support payor resides in.

For example, if the support payor lives in Ontario, and the support recipient lives in Quebec, the Ontario table would be used for the calculation.

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