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Family Lawyer

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CHILD AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Child support refers to the payments for the support of dependent children, and is usually payable until a child turns 18 years of age, or completes a university degree – or longer in limited circumstances. All separating parents, married or not, have a legal obligation to make adequate arrangements for their children’s ongoing financial support. This responsibility for child support does not end by a custodial parent’s remarriage or new cohabitation.

A payor parent’s financial obligation to provide for his or her children is governed by The Child Support Guidelines, which set out a calculation table that family judges must use in a vast majority of cases. These mandatory, periodic child support payments are referred to as the “Table amounts.” In Ontario, parents may decide to pursue child support through a family court system or they may set a sum though a Separation Agreement, in which case the amount of support does not have to conform to the Guidelines. It is also important to understand that a parent’s child support obligations are modifiable in Ontario when there is a substantial change in circumstances, relating to the payor’s ability to pay the child support amount.

Child support payments above and in addition to the Table amounts are payments such as private school fees, extra curricular activity expenses, child care costs and any other expense associated with the child. These are called special and extraordinary expenses, and are usually shared by parents in proportion to their respective incomes.

How We Can Help

Our child support family lawyer is able to provide qualified advice and assistance with respect to child support obligations. Call today for the assessment of your child support obligations or entitlements under the family law in Ontario.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, refers to the payments made by one spouse or common law partner to the other to address any disadvantage arising from the breakdown of a relationship and/or to assist with their living expenses. Spousal support in Ontario is not automatic. If a spouse successfully establishes eligibility for support, court still needs to decide the duration and the amount of such payments in consultation with Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Spousal support can either be paid as a lump sum or in the form of periodic payments. Each of these arrangements triggers a different tax treatment, and should not be entered into without independent legal advice from a divorce lawyer.

Spousal support is a fact-specific and complex area of family law that does not lend itself very well to general pronouncements. The factors that Ontario courts will consider in evaluating spousal support entitlements and ranges include, but are not limited to: the standard of living established during the marriage, the roles each party played in the marriage, the duration of the relationship, the financial resources, age and physical and emotional condition of each party, as well as the time necessary for the recipient to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to become self-sufficient.

If you believe that you may be eligible for spousal support, contact our Toronto spousal support lawyer today, before separation and before applying for a divorce.

 

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