In this episode of Real Estate 101: The Home Buying & Selling Show, family lawyer John Schuman of Devry Smith Frank LLP discusses child support and how is it calculated when two people are getting divorced and one has received the custody of the child.
Is There any Way to Get Out of These Guidelines?
Child support is mandatory according to Ontario Law, so getting out of its guidelines is nearly impossible. The judge will always look to set the guidelines in a way that benefits the child the most and the only way the two parents can opt out of it is if they make an agreement that clearly benefits the child more than the guidelines.
In other words, the judge will not consider any agreement, unless it is better for the child than the guidelines themselves.
However, the caveat with any child support agreements outside of guidelines is that it can lead to a situation where the parent paying for child support suddenly decides that he or she does not want to pay the agreed sum any more. When this happens, the agreement is out of the window and the judge might even order back child support.
Can Shared Custody Get You Out of the Child Support Guidelines?
Shared custody over the child and the child support guidelines work differently. With shared custody, the child lives equal (or almost equal) times with both parents. In this situation, the support for the child is calculated by having one parent pay support to the other based on the guidelines. In other words, the parent with the higher incomes pays the support, but pays a much lesser amount.
However, this situation doesn’t always work best and it can lead to one parent paying all the bills for the kids and buying them all their clothes, while the other pays nothing. If the parents don’t pay the child support in proportion to their income, the judge will order the guidelines changed. In this case, the judge will look at the total cost of raising the child and order the child support to be shared in proportion to the incomes.
Can One Parent Challenge How the Other is Using Child Support Funds?
No. It is up to the recipient parent to decide how this money is best spent. The judge will commonly percieve any challenge like this from one parent as an attempt to control the other parent.
If the parent recipient is indeed not spending the support money appropriately and is not providing for the kid, this then becomes a child custody, rather than a child support matter.
Watch this episode to learn more about child support.
For more information on family law contact:
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