How is Child Support Calculated?
In Ontario, child support is calculated using the Federal Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines provide a formula for determining the amount of child support that should be paid, based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children.
The first step in calculating child support is to determine the paying parent’s gross income. Gross income includes all forms of income, such as salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, and self-employment income. It also includes certain types of government benefits, such as Employment Insurance benefits, and certain types of pension income.
Once the paying parent’s gross income has been determined, the next step is to determine the number of children for whom support is being calculated. This includes children under the age of 18, or children who remain dependent upon their parents because they have a disability or illness or are going to school full-time.
The next step is to determine the applicable child support amount using the Federal Child Support Guidelines. If the children reside primarily with one parent, the non-residential parent will pay child support to the residential parent. This is also the case if the children share equal time with each parent i.e., 50/50. The parents will pay support to each other based on their gross annual income and the number of children.
In addition to child support, parents may be required to pay a percentage of any special or extraordinary expenses such as medical or dental expenses, education costs, and extracurricular activities.
There may be special circumstances that benefit the children directly or indirectly, in which case, applying the Table amount of child support would not be applicable. For example: If it is in the children’s best interest to remain living in the family home, the parents may make arrangements to reduce or eliminate child support in exchange for the residential parent to continue to reside there with the children.
Child support is not taxable to the recipient and is not a tax deduction to the payor.
If you would like to know what child support would be in your situation, the team at Positive Solutions Divorce Services® can assist you with these calculations.