Generally, the Child Support Guidelines (the “CSG”) establish an amount of Child Support based on the income of the paying parent. For this reason, income disclosure is a critical component of calculating support obligations. Click here to determine potential child support obligations.
In the case of a shared parenting arrangement, where neither parent spends more than 60% or less than 40% of the time with the child, then offsetting Child Support obligations may be appropriate because of the additional cost of maintaining two households.
If applicable, an offsetting amount of child support is sometimes calculated by determining the CSG amount for the income of each parent, then subtracting the amount for the lower earning parent, from the amount for the higher earning parent. Support would then proceed with the higher earning parent paying the difference to the lower earning parent on a monthly basis.
This is not an absolute rule and a number of exceptions exist. The courts will seek to ensure that the child maintains the same standard of living in both households and this often warrants an amount of support that is greater or lower than a straight offset amount.
Parents also have an obligation to contribute to special or extraordinary expenses for the Children. While some expenses are covered by CSG support payments, some fees may apply in addition to the CSG obligations, and in proportion to the relative incomes of the parents. This would apply to expenses such as school trips, extracurricular activites, orthodontics, or other expenses that arise in caring for the Child.
In some cases, parties wish to extinguish their Child Support obligations by making pre-payment of support or property transfers on separation. This might mean giving up rights to a piece of real property such as the matrimonial home, or perhaps waiving other support or property entitlements.
Please contact us should you require further information about Child Support.