Child support in Ontario divorce cases is determined by the Federal Child Support Guidelines. It’s simple. You take your income as set out at Line 150 of your income tax return and look up your obligation according to the number of children you have. Voila.
But… and this is important… if your children are with you more than 40% of the time (that’s called “shared custody”), you can get a break on the amount of child support. Okay. Sounds simple. But how do you count the time: in hours or days or what?
In Andrew Feldstein’s blog titled, Toronto Family Lawyers’ Blog, he summarized an interesting case called Froom vs Froom, which is supposed to help give us direction on how to “count time”. The Court of Appeals of Ontario says, generally, you should just count “days”. So, if the kids are with you 6 out of 14 days, then you have the 43% of the time, and you have met the threshold. You may pay a different amount of child support than prescribed by the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
Unfortunately, the Ontario Court of Appeal also says if a judge counts hours or uses some other method to “count time” it can be acceptable. So, the Froom vs Froom decision doesn’t resolve the uncertainty.
The age-old adage may now be “More time means less money”.