Amendments to the Federal Child Support Guideline Tables effective December 31, 2011
The “table” amount of child support based on the payor's income and the number of children, has changed in Ontario, the first such increase since May 2006. By way of example, in a situation where a recipient parent cares for the child at least 60% of the time, a payor parent earning $150,000 a year will now have to pay per month for one child $1,263, for two children $2,012, and for three children $2,611. A person who earns $100,000 will pay per month for one child $880, for two children $1,416 and 3 children $1,845. A $50,000 a year income-earner will pay $450 for one child, $743 for two children and $959 for three children. The table goes up to a maximum of six or more children.
“Special or Extraordinary expenses” (section 7)—amounts above the tables
In addition to the “Table” amount of child support, the Guidelines also provide in some cases for support payments to cover all or a part of a child’s “special or extraordinary” expenses. Depending on the income of the parents, these expenses may include:
- child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment;
- that portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually, including orthodontic treatment, professional counselling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses;
- extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
- expenses for post-secondary education; and
- extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.
“extraordinary expenses” is defined in the Guidelines to mean
- expenses that exceed those that the parent or spouse requesting an amount for the extraordinary expenses can reasonably cover, taking into account that parent’s or spouse’s income and the amount that the parent or spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate, or
- where clause (a) is not applicable, expenses that the court considers are extraordinary taking into account,
- the amount of the expense in relation to the income of the parent or spouse requesting the amount, including the amount that the parent or spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate,
- the nature and number of the educational programs and extracurricular activities,
- any special needs and talents of the child,
- the overall cost of the programs and activities, and
- any other similar factors that the court considers relevant.
It is best to consult a family lawyer if:
- you are unsure how to calculate the “table” amount of child support in shared parenting situations or
- to determine whether some expenses qualify as special or extraordinary and if so,
- how they might be shared by parents.