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What if my partner is paid in cash or is hiding money to avoid paying child support?

What if my partner is paid in cash or is hiding money to avoid paying child support?


Clear language definitions to common legal terms. 

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August, 2017

Usually child support is based on the gross annual income of the parent paying support and the number of children entitled to support. Gross income means income before taxes and most other deductions.

The payor parent must give detailed information about their income. This can include:

  • income tax returns and notices of assessment
  • pay stubs or statements from employers
  • financial statements of any business they own
  • statements from employment insurance, social assistance,  a pension, or worker’s compensation 
  • proof of income from a trust

Hidden income

Sometimes these documents do not show the whole picture of what the payor parent makes or could be making. This can be because they:

  • work for cash
  • are not actively looking for a job
  • are underemployed by only working part-time or in a low paying job
  • are not reporting all their income
  • are giving false information
  • are self-employed and claiming deductions that are not true business expenses or keeping money in their company that could be used for support

You partner might be doing these things to avoid paying child support or to pay less child support.

In these situations, you can ask the judge to impute income. This means asking the judge to decide that your partner earns more than they say or can earn more.

A judge imputes income based on what the payor parent is capable of earning or what the judge thinks the payor parent actually earns. The judge looks at things like their work history, past income, education, lifestyle, and job opportunities.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

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