What Mothers Need to Know About Child Support

Young mother holding her toddler daughter

When you’re going through a divorce, you’ll notice people want to give you advice on what you should or shouldn’t do, especially when it comes to child support. The vast majority of these tips are well-intentioned. However, unless the advice comes from legal professionals, there’s a good chance these people don’t know what they’re talking about. Read on to learn what moms should know about child support.

What Is Child Support?

The term “child support” refers to the legal obligation of parents to financially support their children. Both parents share this obligation, even if they no longer live together.

A parent still has to provide financial support to his or her children, even if he or she doesn’t live with the child or see the child. This obligation remains in effect even if the parents aren’t married anymore or if they never lived together.

Which Parent Pays Child Support?

Generally, a child lives most of the time with one parent or another. The parent that the child lives with bears the majority of the expenses for raising the child.

Because both parents have an obligation to financially support their children, the parent that the child doesn’t live with must pay child support to ensure the other parent has the resources to provide the basics.

How Much Child Support Will I Get?

The federal government has guidelines about how much child support the parent that the child lives with should receive.

Canadian guidelines for child support are based upon the paying parent’s annual gross income and the number of children.

There are three ways to reach a resolution about how much child support you’ll receive. The first method is by using the province’s online service. Bear in mind that the amount of child support might be calculated differently than the way the court would do it if the custodial parent receives the Universal Child Care Benefit, or if the paying parent is eligible to deduct employment or business-related expenses from his or her income. Both parents must agree to this arrangement in order for it to work; otherwise, they’ll have to go to court.

The second resolution method is to go to court. Whether you’re requesting child support or you have to pay child support, you’ll need to fill out a number of forms. The third method of settling on a child support sum is to come to an agreement without going to court. With either of these two methods, you don’t have to have a lawyer. But remember, legal expertise can be invaluable.

How Do I Receive the Money?

An agency known as the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) automatically collects and distributes the paying parent’s payments.

Let’s say you decided to sign an agreement outside of court. You can still turn to the FRO to collect and distribute child support payments.

What Happens If the Child’s Other Parent Doesn’t Pay?

Unfortunately, there are many parents who don’t pay child support for their offspring living in Ontario. However, parents receiving child support have recourse in this situation.

The FRO has the authority to collect child support from parents who don’t pay; the agency can report that parent to the credit bureau, suspend drivers’ licences or passports, or garnish bank accounts.

Turn to a Legal Expert for Advice on Child Support

If you’re a mother who will be receiving child support payments, you need accurate legal advice from a divorce law expert. You want someone who will make sure your rights are protected during this challenging time.

Galbraith Family Law lawyers are trained in Collaborative Practice, and we have been named the top firm by the Barrie Examiner multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.

Click here to contact us, or to schedule a consultation. Or you can call the local office listed at the top of the page.

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Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.

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