Calculating Child Support

In Canada, child support is calculated by reference to the Federal Child Support Guidelines.  In most cases, the amount of child support is calculated on the gross income of the paying party (less annual union dues) and on the number of children for whom support is to be paid.

The Child Support Guidelines have been in effect since 1987, were amended in May 2006 and have now been amended again. The second amendment came into effect on December 31, 2011.

To determine what you should be paying or receiving for child support under the new Guidelines, the Government of Canada has a great website which provides links to not only the official Federal Child Support Tables, but also a simplified version of the Tables and a convenient online look-up tool.  The Government’s website can be accessed here.

The Child Support Guidelines are very helpful when the payor is an employee but the calculation of child support can be trickier when the paying party is self-employed, is not working to capacity or where the parents are sharing parenting of children.  If you or your former partner fall into any of those categories, it makes sense to get some legal advice. The Canadian Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service is a great resource for initial summary advice. For $25.00 for a ½ hour consultation, a lawyer will be able to give you some advice particular to your situation.

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