Child support is mandated under federal and provincial law. It is known as the Child Support Guidelines.
There is a formulation table dictating the basic amount of child support payable by one parent to the other. It is related solely to the number of children and the payor’s income. The recipient’s income is irrelevant in determining the basic amount of child support, unless one or more children are living with the payor.
In addition to the basic amount of child support, both parents are required to contribute in proportion to their incomes to other expenses, which may include day care, schooling and tutoring costs, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and post-secondary education. These extra expenses, referred to as “Section 7 Expenses” are set out in section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines.
Child support is not taxable to the recipient, nor is it deductible to the payor. The amount of child support can be revisited whenever the payor’s income changes. The sharing of Section 7 Expenses can be reviewed if either parent’s income changes.
Usually the calculation of child support is very straightforward. Complications can happen if there are a number of different parenting arrangements in effect. For example, three children live with one parent and two live with the other parent. When these types of difficulties arise, we have sophisticated software solutions that provide the calculations.
Child support does not necessarily stop when a child graduates from high school. In fact, it may be payable for as long as the child is in full-time attendance at a post-secondary educational institution. Furthermore, payment may extend to a post-graduate education and degree.