Child support is payable until a child reaches 18 years of age, although this obligation may continue if the child attends school on a full-time basis (usually until the end of their first post-secondary degree) or is unable for medical or other similar reasons to become financially independent.

The amount of support payable is determined by looking at the Child Support Guidelines for the province in which the payor resides, or, if the payor resides outside of Canada, the province where the recipient resides. Child support is tied to the number of children and the income of the payor.

Who the child lives with will govern who pays support. Normally, the parent with whom the child lives with less than 40% of the time will pay support to the parent with whom the child lives with more than 60% of the time (regardless of who has a higher income). If the child spends approximately equal time with both parents, the support payable by each parent is calculated based on their respective incomes, and whoever has to pay the higher amount typically pays the other parent the difference.

In addition to regular monthly child support, section 7 of the Guidelines gives the court discretion to award extra payments for special and extraordinary expenses. These expenses are shared proportionally based on each parent’s income.

For more information about child support, contact our Family Law Group.