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Who pays child support?

Question
Who pays child support?

Glossary

Clear language definitions to common legal terms. 

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Reviewed: 
August, 2017
Answer

The law says that parents are responsible for financially supporting their dependent children. Dependent usually means until the child turns 18 and sometimes longer.

The parent who pays child support is called the payor parent.

A parent can be the birth or biological mother or father, a non-biological parent, an adoptive parent, and sometimes a step-parent.

Parents must support their children even if they:

  • do not live with the children
  • do not see the children
  • are not married to the other parent
  • did not live with the other parent
  • did not have an ongoing relationship with the other parent
  • have other children from a new relationship

There is information about receiving child support and social assistance. Social assistance includes Ontario Works and  Ontario Disibility Support Program.

Child support is separate from access

The right to child support and access are two different things.  They are both rights of the child. A parent cannot be denied access to their child because they do not pay child support. And a parent who does not have access may still have to pay child support.

You can only refuse to allow access in limited situations, such as if you're afraid for your child’s safety. You may have to call child protection services if you believe your child is being abused by your partner or someone in their home. If you're in this situation, get help right away.

You can talk to a lawyer who can tell you what to do to keep your children safe. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

 

 

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

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