Determining Child Support Obligations in Ontario

Ontario Family Law Act

The Ontario Family Law Act (FLA) is a provincial law that outlines the rights and responsibilities of married and unmarried couples, as well as parents and children with regards to issues such as marriage, separation and divorce, parenting arrangements, support payments, and division of property. It was enacted in 1986 to provide a comprehensive framework for dealing with family-related matters in Ontario. The FLA sets out various expectations related to spousal support obligations after separation or divorce, child support payments, parenting arrangements, and division of family property.


Eligibility for Child Support in Ontario

According to the Ontario Family Law Act, a person can be eligible for child support if they have custody of a child or are responsible for their care and upbringing. The FLA specifies that in cases where both parents have custody or share responsibility for the care of the child, one parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other as determined by the court. The amount of child support is based on factors such as household income and the needs of the child.


Guidelines for Calculating Child Support Under the FLA

Under the Ontario Family Law Act, there are guidelines that must be used when calculating child support payments. These include the gross income of both parents and any deductions such as spousal support payments or certain expenses. The court may also consider other factors such as the number of children involved, their ages, and the amount of time each parent spends with them. The court will then determine a reasonable amount based on this information and can adjust it depending on individual circumstances.


Variables That Impact a Child Support Order in Ontario

There are several variables that can impact a child support order in Ontario. These include the incomes of both the paying and receiving parents, the number and ages of the children, who has custody or is responsible for their upbringings, any applicable spousal support payments, special expenses for the child such as health care costs or daycare fees, and any other factors deemed relevant by the court. The court may adjust an award of child support depending on these variables.


Special Considerations Regarding Retroactive Payments and Joint Custody Arrangements

Retroactive payments of child support can be requested by either the paying or receiving parent if there has been a period of time where the other parent was legally obligated to pay, but did not. The court may take past income, current income, and any special expenses into account when determining an appropriate amount for retroactive payments. In joint custody arrangements, both parents are expected to contribute towards their children’s care and the court may consider different factors such as location, responsibility for daily life tasks, financial contribution from both parents and so on. Depending on the situation, one parent may have a higher obligation than the other in providing necessary care for their children.


Resources to Learn More About Child Support in Ontario

There are a number of resources to learn more about child support in Ontario. The Ministry of the Attorney General provides information specific to the province, such as an article discussing your rights and obligations when making or receiving payments. Several legal firms offer free consultations to discuss individual cases and concerns.

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is responsible for tracking and enforcing court-ordered financial support and provides access to a variety of informational publications, forms and contact information. Additionally, the Legal Aid Ontario website provides access to subscription-based legal advice, including advice on topics related to children’s issues like support payments.


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Tailor Law is a team of Mississauga family lawyers who believe in giving you the very best service possible. Whether it be advice or representation, they will work tirelessly on your case so that nothing falls through the cracks and give every ounce if effort into what’s happening with yours truly! please contact us to book a Free initial consultation at 905-366-0202 or through our website here. 

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