The Federal Child Support Guidelines (the Guidelines) were enacted, among other reasons, in order to provide some certainty with respect to the financial support of children. This piece of legislation provides insight on who must pay child support, the quantum of child support which must paid, and for how long children are eligible to receive child support. Child support payments are tax free in the hands of the recipient and non-deductible from income for the purposes of income tax by the payor.
The basic amount of child support payable is set out in the tables of the Guidelines and is based on the income of the payor parent. The income of the recipient parent is not taken into account in setting basic child support payments. Generally, the parent with whom the child resides primarily is the recipient of the child support payments. In addition to the basic child support amount, an additional amount may be payable for special or extraordinary expenses of the children. These special and extraordinary expenses are set out in section 7 of the child support Guidelines and may include expenses such as uninsured medical and dental expenses and post-secondary education expenses, and daycare.
Children are generally eligible to receive child support for as long as they are under the age of majority, or until they have obtained their first post-secondary degree.
Although it may seem straightforward to determine child support by simple application of the Guidelines, various issues may arise which can impact the general “rules” of child support pursuant to the Guidelines and give rise to certain exceptions. At Kain & Ball, we understand the child support Guidelines and have extensive experience in dealing with such issues and exceptions.
For instance, the determination of a payor parent’s income can be an issue, because income for child support purposes is not necessarily limited to the payor’s Line 150 income. Bonuses, stock options, expense accounts, and benefits may, in some cases be included in the calculation of the payor’s income. In the case of self-employed persons, the ability to personally benefit from expenses paid by the company also may be taken into account.
Adjustments may be made to the basic support payable in certain situations where there are shared parenting arrangements and the child resides with the payor parent for more than 40% of the time. In such instances, a payor parent may be able to argue that there should be a “set-off” or a reduction of the table child support payable, depending on the circumstances.
Our qualified team of Toronto family law experts has dealt with a wide range of cases including those with complex financial issues. We have the requisite skills, knowledge, and experience to ensure a fair child support arrangement for you and your family.