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How much child support must be paid?
Clear language definitions to common legal terms.
Usually child support is money paid by the parent that spends the least amount of time with the child to the parent who takes care of the child most of the time. It is used to help cover the costs of caring for the child.
Even if your child spends an equal amount of time with each of you, the parent with the higher income may still have to pay some child support.
You and your partner can try to reach an agreement about child support before going to court. You can use the Child Support Guidelines and the Government of Canada's child support tables to see how much child support a judge might order.
The tables are based on the gross annual income of the payor parent and the number of children entitled to support. There is a separate table for each province and territory.
The tables show the basic monthly amounts of child support to cover expenses like clothes, groceries, and school supplies. It is the payor parent's contribution to meet the child’s basic needs, just as if they were living with the child.
The table amount assumes that the parent who is caring for the child most of the time contributes to their financial support.
There are other factors that may affect the amount of child support a judge might order. For example:
- special or extraordinary expenses, like daycare that are not covered in the table amount
- the type of custody arrangement, such as shared custody or split custody
- undue hardship or financial difficulties that make it very hard for the payor parent to pay child support
- retroactive support with a start date before the date of the court order