Understanding Child Support Laws in Canada

Most people never think about child support unless they are involved in a divorce. If you’re the receiver of child support, it never seems like enough, and if you’re the payer, it seems like too much.

It’ll help though, if you both realize that once you get a divorce or involve the government in any way with your parenting choices, you have both lost control. You have no choice because that is how child support laws work. If you realize this, you can avoid a lot of problems.

Federal Law Determines Child Support

Although divorces and child support are handled at provincial level in Canada, the Federal Government determines how child support is calculated. They use a formula that includes both incomes and a range based on statistics for parents in that income level to determine the amount and each parent pays.

The guidelines work on the principle that both parents should share the same portion of their income with their children as if they lived together.

Child Support is Neither Taxable, nor Deductible

When it comes to child support, the paying parent does not get to deduct it from their taxable income and the receiving parent does not claim it. Parents would be spending this money anyway if they were together. They wouldn’t write off their child’s expenses when married or in a relationship, so they don’t get to do it when separated.

Child Support and Alimony Are Two Separate Items

One thing a lot of parents who pay child support complain about, is thinking their ex is spending the child support money on themselves. It’s important to let this fight go. The law is very clear that no parent must make an accounting of the money they’re spending on the kids as they consider it household money that parents would spend anyway.

As a paying parent, you should not fight with your ex about this. If you see legitimate issues, it’s something you should bring up with your lawyer, or if your family is in counseling, with a counselor. Your ex may be willing to show you their books to curb your misunderstanding. However, try to be realistic. Unless you’re paying someone a full-time income, it’s not likely they’re spending that money on themselves.

Neither Parent Has Any Control Over This Issue

Judges seldom deviate from the Federal guidelines on child support.

The best thing to do is accept it. As mentioned before most parents receiving child support often don’t get enough to cover daycare much less pay for a vacation.

Separate Money from The Relationship

It can be very hard when going through this to let go of the money issue and separate it from the relationship issues. Whether your ex is paying child support or not, never use the money to keep your child from their parent.

As a parent ordered to pay support, don’t use this as a wedge issue. The receiving parent honestly has no choice due to the way the laws are written. In addition, it’s totally realistic that the parent providing most of the childcare may not earn as much as the other parent. This fact isn’t going to change much just because a divorce happens.

Final Word

Finally, never talk to your kids about these issues. It’s none of their business. The parents need to to deal with this matter through the law and accept the ruling of the judge. Put the kids first and let go of this money issue. The money is for the kids, and most parents are doing that despite the myths.

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