WHAT IS CHILD SUPPORT IN ONTARIO?
When parents no longer continue to reside with each other, an arrangement is usually made in terms of which parent the children may live with and for how long. Usually, the parent with which the children reside most of time is entitled to obtain from the other parent expenses relating to raising the children. This is called child support.
ELIGIBILITY FOR CHILD SUPPORT IN ONTARIO
Payment of Child Support is determined by the living arrangement of the Child or Children. If the child or children live most of the time with one parent, then the other parent must pay. In the event that the parents spend an equal amount of time in rearing the child or children, child support is still payable. In such a situation, the parent with the higher income will normally be required to pay the net difference in the parties respective applicable amounts as specified in the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT IN ONTARIO CALCULATED?
There are Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Child Support guidelines that specify how much child support is payable. The amount of child support is usually calculated in relation to the paying parent’s annual income. However, you must first determine which Child Support Guideline is applicable to your situation:
1)If you are divorced or have applied for a divorce then the Federal Child Support Guideline will apply. You can calculate the amount of child support payable under the Federal Guidelines here.
2)If you were never married or were married and are separated (and neither parent has applied for a divorce) then the Provincial or Territorial Child Support Guidelines apply. You can view the Ontario child support tables here.
HOW CAN I GET CHILD SUPPORT IN ONTARIO?
Depending on whether you are entitled to receive Child Support, you can arrange child support to be paid to you in the following ways:
- Online using this Ontario Government Website. You can use this service if you are setting up child support for the first time. Please click here to go the website.
- A written agreement between you and the other parent;
- In accordance with a court Order. If you are faced with an uncooperative parent, you may go to the court to obtain an Order for child support to be paid to you. Please click here for some helpful information regarding filing or changing child support.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT IN ONTARIO IS ENFORCED
The Family Responsibility Office is an Ontario Government office that enforces Child Support payments. All Orders for Child Support made by the Courts are automatically filed in the FRO. Separation Agreements may also be filed in the FRO provided they have also been filed in Court.
The Family Responsibility Office collects the child support payments from the payor parent and then either mails a cheque or directly deposits the support payments into the recipient parent’s account.
In the event the payor parent misses support payments there are a number of ways the FRO can collect unpaid payments:
- It may deduct payments automatically from the parent’s wages or income;
- A charge may be registered against the parent’s personal property or real estate;
- It may garnish the parent’s bank account or up to half of joint bank accounts the Parent may have;
- An Order may be made against anyone who is helping a parent hide their income or assets that may go towards unpaid child support.
If a parent continues to not make payments, the FRO may exert pressure on that parent in the following way:
- It may suspend that parent’s driver license;
- It may cancel the parent’s passport;
- The parent may be reported to credit bureaus, making it difficult for them to obtain a loan.
The Family Responsibility Office can collect unpaid payments from across Canada, the US and any other country with which Ontario has an agreement.
Keep in mind that if a change is required to the amount of support payments, the FRO cannot be asked to make that change. If a parent believes a change in support payments is warranted, that change must be reflected in either a new Agreement or you can go before a court and ask to have the support Order changed.
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: The material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice relating to your particular situation it is highly recommended to consult with a Toronto divorce lawyer.