What is Child Support?

Child Support is a monetary amount paid to the custodial parent for the everyday needs of the children – the primary concerns are food, clothing and shelter. The quantity of child support payable is prescribed under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, and is based on the number of children and the income of the support payor parent (usually the non-custodial parent).

Special Expenses

In addition to paying the prescribed table amount under the Guidelines, both parents may have to jointly contribute to the cost of special items and activities for the children under Section 7 of the Family Law Act. These can include health care needs such as braces and glasses, as well as extracurricular activities including sports, tutoring, day-care and summer camp programs. The parties may agree to share these costs proportionately according to their income levels. These activities and items should serve to benefit the well-being and development of the children, and not be frivolous in nature. If parents are unable to agree on sharing the costs, a court may make this determination. It should be further noted that courts do not normally view gifts and other luxury items purchased for the children as a replacement for fulfilling child support obligations by the support payor parent.

Age of the Children - How Long does Child Support Need to be Paid?

Generally, child support is required to be paid for children up to 18 years of age. After 18, child support may also be payable up to the end of the child’s enrollment in a first full-time post-secondary program, as well as in the case of disabled adult children who are not able to support themselves financially. If a child is cohabiting, married or otherwise lives separately from the parents before age 18, child support may be terminated since they are no longer considered to be a financial dependent. If a child obtains full-time employment, support may also be terminated.

Please contact our office for more information about child support.