3. Figure out if your child is a dependent

Your child has to be dependent if you want your partner to share their .

Dependent usually means until the child turns 18 and sometimes longer.

A child is not a dependent if they:

  • marry, or
  • are at least 16 years old and leave home, which is also known as “voluntarily withdraw from parental control”.

Withdrawal from parental control means your child decides not to live with you anymore and not to follow your rules. The withdrawal from parental control must be voluntary. This means the child cannot be forced to leave.

For example, if the child is “kicked out” or if the living conditions at the parent's home is so bad that the child is forced to leave, the withdrawal is not voluntary. The parents are still responsible for supporting the child.

A child who is over the age of majority, which means 18 years old or older, may still be dependent if they cannot support themselves because they:

  • have a disability or illness, or
  • are going to school full-time.

In the case of disability or chronic illness, a child over the age of majority can remain dependent for their entire life.

In the case of post-secondary students, it is generally accepted that a child who is studying for their first undergraduate degree or diploma is in need of support until they finish school. The child has to be studying and not just enrolled in the program.

This support usually lasts until the child turns 22 or gets a degree or diploma. Sometimes support can be ordered to allow the child to get more than one degree.

If the judge finds that a child over the age of majority should receive , they can order the table amount or something different. The child may also have to contribute to their expenses. This depends on the facts of your case.

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