How The Amount Of Child Support Is Determined

The amount of child support is easy to determine. There are Federal support guidelines and Ontario support guidelines and they both have identical numbers.

First we determine what the payer’s income is and then the number of children that the payer has to pay for in terms of child support. Then, you look at the grid and that shows the amount of child support the parent has to pay. So for example, if the payer is a T4 employee, makes $75,000 a year, and has 2 children, the guidelines will tell you what he has to pay for his basic child support.

Problems arise when the payer is not a T4 employee and is self employed or has bonuses, stock options and commissions, or gets to write off certain business expenses. Then it becomes tricky to determine the payer’s exact income.

The other area of child support is called a Section 7, which refers to Section 7 of the guidelines. These are extraordinary expenses. An example of extraordinary expenses that is always accepted by the court is when a mother has to go to work and she has to put the children in the day care, after school or before school day care. Those are always accepted as extraordinary expenses. Sometimes, the child’s activities and after school programs or camp fees are accepted as an expense, but other times they are not. There is no hard and fast rule in the definition of an extraordinary expense.

Once you determine an extraordinary expense, the fees are typically paid on a pro rata basis depending on the parties’ incomes. In an example where the payer makes $75,000 and the recipient makes $25,000, then the payer would be responsible for 75 percent of these extraordinary expenses and the recipient, 25 percent. If the recipient’s income goes up by $50,000 and they both now make the same amount of money, all those extraordinary expenses will be calculated on a 50:50 basis.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in York Region, Durham Region or Toronto, contact Feldstein Family Law Group for a consultation.


This article is taken from a November 30, 2007 interview with Andrew Feldstein, Family Lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group, a Toronto Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.