Child Support Lawyers in Toronto Helping You Navigate the Family Courts
If you are ending a relationship that involves children, it’s very likely that child support will be one of the key issues. While the Ontario courts provide specific guidelines for how child support should be determined and handled, it’s not always that simple. There may be times when a child support deviation is in the best interests of the child or when enforcement measures have to be taken to ensure that payments are made properly and on time.
If you’re looking for a child support lawyer in Toronto, Anthony Family Law can help. Our family law lawyers can talk with you about the specifics of your case, help you understand whether you may be receiving or paying child support, and guide you through the process.
Who Pays Child Support?
Who pays child support is one of the most common questions we get. While every situation is different, there are two key factors involved in how the child support guidelines determine who will pay child support. The first is the income of both parties. Child support is meant to ensure that the children can enjoy a generally equal standard of living to what they would have had if the parents had not separated. This means that if one party earns substantially more than the other, the higher earner is likely to be ordered to pay support to the party that earns less.
The other major factor is time spent with the child. Child support is more likely to be ordered in a sole custody situation than in a joint custody arrangement, and in general, the support is paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support can still be ordered with shared custody, however, and is usually determined based on the percentage of time split. For example, parents who have a 60/40 time split with their children may have a smaller child support order than parents who have an 80/20 split.
One important aspect to keep in mind is that even though child support may be dependent on the amount of time both parents spend with the children, it is not equal to access. For example, if the other parent stops paying their child support, that doesn’t mean that you can keep them from seeing the children. If you have questions about how to obtain child support or what to do if the child support order isn’t reflective of the circumstances, reach out to talk to one of our Toronto child support lawyers.
How is Child Support Calculated?
The Ontario child support guidelines are what is used when determining child support. Basic child support payments are determined by the Child Support Table. This table shows what the expected expenses are for raising a child. For example, it takes into consideration things like food and clothing as well as cyclical expenses such as school supplies.
This table calculates basic child support by using the gross income of the paying parent and the number of children the support order covers. This usually means that someone who earns more pays more, and the more children you have, the more support you are going to pay.
In Ontario, child support usually stays in place until the children have reached the age of 18. However, it is possible for child support payments to be still made for adult children who are still in high school, who are pursuing a college degree, or who are ongoing dependents of their parents, such as in the case of a disability that makes it impossible for them to ever care for themselves.
What Are Special and Extraordinary Expenses?
There is a separate child support category known as special and extraordinary expenses. These are expenses that are shared by the parents that go beyond the everyday expenses. For example, special and extraordinary expenses may cover insurance premiums, fees for sports and other extracurricular activities, and anything else that is deemed reasonable and necessary for the support of the children.
Can You Negotiate Child Support in Ontario?
Proper child support should be reflective of the needs and interests of the children, and while the Child Support Table provides a general starting place, it is possible for the parties to negotiate a different amount. However, the Toronto child support courts will still want to ensure that the amount is based on the best interests of the child. For example, you generally cannot offer one parent a deal that has them not pay child support in exchange for giving up rights to their child. If you don’t think that the basic child support amount is appropriate for your situation, contact our office to talk to one of our family law lawyers, who can let you know if you have other options.
What if My Ex Is Misrepresenting Their Income?
Determining child support payments depends on the accurate financial reporting of both parties. If one of the parties isn’t honest about how much income they have or other aspects of their circumstances that impact their finances, it could result in a child support payment that isn’t reflective of the situation.
If you think that your ex isn’t being honest about their income, talk with one of our Toronto child support lawyers. Sometimes, people try to underreport their income by not properly showing bonuses or overtime worked. It’s also possible for someone to not report a second job or to leave off any cash payments they are getting for work done, not through a traditional employer.
Not accurately reporting income is a serious issue, and if it’s revealed in court that a party intentionally misrepresented their finances to try to get out of support or be ordered to pay a lower amount, there can be serious consequences and repercussions.
What Happens if They Don’t Pay?
If someone has been ordered to pay child support to the other parent, it is a legally binding and enforceable order. Unfortunately, enforcement is one of the common child support issues that the courts and family law lawyers have to deal with. If you are not receiving child support that is owed to you, you have the right to ask the courts to pursue enforcement.
Most enforcement cases start with the courts ordering a wage garnishment to ensure that the money is taken directly out of the payor’s check. However, if that’s not possible or the paying parent is already far in arrears, other enforcement methods may be used. These could include:
- Garnishing money directly from the payor’s bank account or other funds
- Suspending the payor’s driver’s license or passport
- Putting a lien against personal property
- Reporting the lack of payment to the credit bureau
A child support lawyer in Toronto can help you understand the options for your case and how to start the process of child support enforcement.
How Can Anthony Family Law Help Me With Child Support Matters?
We know that getting child support payments on a regular basis is an important part of ensuring that your children are provided for financially. We also know that sometimes a parent purposely tries to avoid those payments or that the court-ordered child support isn’t reflective of the children’s needs. Our team of Toronto child support lawyers has experience with filing, litigating, and enforcing child support cases. We can help you have accurate expectations when it comes to the likely support amount that will be ordered and can assist if the paying party doesn’t fulfill their obligations.
Child support is something that family law lawyers deal with on a daily basis, and they know what to look for and how to handle these matters. If you are going through a divorce or separation, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to child support. You can talk with one of our child support lawyers by calling 647-933-2397 to schedule an appointment at our Toronto law firm.