In Ontario, child support is governed by mandatory Child Support Guidelines. While the Guidelines help to simplify matters, there are several factors that can affect the final support award. The access arrangements with respect to the child(ren) will have a significant impact on the amount of support payable, for example. Further, if one or both parents fails to fully disclose their financial data, additional work will be required to ensure a fair support award that reflects the true financial position of each parent.
At Boulby Weinberg LLP, our family law lawyers have extensive experience working to enforce their clients’ rights with respect to child support. We are skilled in the application of Ontario’s family law rules to any situation from relatively simple to highly complex. If you are concerned about a lack of disclosure on your former partner’s part, we will work to ensure we obtain a full accounting of their income and other financial details to secure a fair support award for you and your child(ren).
As child and spousal support are both income-based, the calculation of income is often the most important issue. Income for support purposes is calculated on a different basis than for tax purposes. Income is imputed to reconcile the after-tax available income to that of an employee. Income from all sources is taken into account including salary, corporate dividends, investment income whether interest or capital gains, pre-tax corporate income for a company of which the spouse is a shareholder, director or officer, and trust income. Income may be imputed to a spouse in a number of ways including intentional underemployment, residence in a country with lower tax rates than in Canada, where the spouse’s property is not reasonably utilized to generate income, or where a spouse is a beneficiary under a trust and is or will be in receipt of income or other benefits from the trust.
If children reside primarily in one parent’s home, the other parent pays support calculated as a percentage of income. If children reside in both homes equally or on a schedule whereby they are in neither parent’s home for more than 60% of the time, then the parents typically either pay a set off support based on their respective incomes or allocate the children’s expenses between them on a discretionary basis.
In addition to the basic monthly support, parents must share special and extraordinary expenses such as private school, childcare, orthodontia, and post-secondary education in proportion to their respective incomes. The responsibility to pay support extends beyond the age of 18 while an adult child remains a dependent, potentially through graduate degrees including medical and law school in higher-income families.
The calculation of child support obligations can become complex when factoring in outside issues such as custody and access, financial disclosure and imputation of income. The team at Boulby Weinberg LLP will work to ensure all factors are fully considered when working to determine your support rights or obligations. We are experienced in all types of child support disputes, including those involving complex financial calculations.
To arrange a consultation with a reputable and empathetic lawyer at Boulby Weinberg LLP, please complete our confidential online questionnaire, which will provide you with valuable preliminary information tailored to your situation. A representative from our firm will contact you within one business day to discuss your matter further and arrange an initial meeting. To contact our firm without completing the questionnaire, please reach out to us online, or call us at 647-494-0113 ext. 102.