A separation or divorce is never easy. During these periods, emotions are running high and things become even more complicated when there are children involved. In any relationship, the care of a child – or children – is of the utmost importance. In order to reach a fair and honest settlement, many parties choose to enlist professionals for detailed plans and guidance.
Whether you are separating from a spouse or a common-law partner, there are a lot of questions regarding custody, schedules and the overall amount of support necessary. Instead of choosing an arbitrary number, the level of support is determined based on a number of factors.
The baseline amount of monthly child support payable to the primary caregiver is based on the Child Support Guideline. This table is based on the province in which the payor resides. Overall payments are based on the payor’s taxes, particularly their line 1500 income (formerly Line 150), as reported on their most recent income tax return.
Once a foundation cost is established, there is wiggle room for extracurriculars and other outside expenses. In most cases, determining basic monthly child support costs is the least controversial aspect in a family law dispute and this is mostly due to the amount of time that children reside with each parent.
Custody agreements and time spent will have an impact on the amount of support being paid. When parties share children equally (including sleeping hours), the higher earner pays a set amount of child support to the lower income earner based on the Child Support Guideline. When one parent has care of the children more than 50% but less than 60% of the time, the court may use this table/guideline to determine reasonable payment in keeping with the circumstance.
There are, of course, other factors at play. It is unlikely that both parties in a relationship will meet the same income level. The difference in income will impact how much support is paid and to whom.
The goal of child support is to maintain a sense of comfort and normalcy. Certain lifestyles are achieved through higher income. Whether it is the type of schooling, sports, classes or hobbies available, these all come with a price tag.
Enlisting an experienced lawyer can take the process of determining support from problematic to peaceful. Everyone wants what is best for their child but sometimes it can be difficult to determine exactly what that looks like. Legal counsel can benefit both those paying support and those receiving it.
In addition to a schedule, both parties are left with peace of mind knowing that their children are getting the best through a fair solution.