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Child Support Lawyer &
Spousal Support Lawyer

Expert Legal Guidance for Child Support & Spousal Support Matters

Work with a leading child support lawyer and spousal support lawyer. At Chapman Steffler LLP, we are dedicated to advocating for your rights and the well-being of your children. Our experienced team will guide you through the complexities of child support and spousal support, providing clarity and support every step of the way. We will work diligently to negotiate fair resolutions, but if necessary, we are prepared to represent your interests in court.

Navigate Child and Spousal Support with Confidence

Child Support

Child support plays a vital role in securing the financial welfare of your children. However, calculating the suitable amount can be a challenging and intricate procedure. Our experienced lawyers can help you understand the factors involved and guide you through the legal framework to reach a fair resolution.

Spousal Support

In certain situations, there may be an obligation for one spouse to provide financial assistance to the other. This type of payment is known as “spousal support” and is designed to address disparities in financial capacity and needs, and alleviate economic hardships resulting from the marriage and its breakdown.

The determination of spousal support payments is contingent upon several factors, including the financial needs of the recipient spouse and the ability of the other spouse to provide support. The financial interdependencies established during the course of the relationship also contribute to this assessment

Your Advocates in Child & Spousal Support: Compassionate, Competent Lawyers

Seeking guidance from our experienced spousal support lawyers is essential to understand the specific obligations or entitlements pertaining to spousal support in your particular case.

Married couples undergoing separation or divorce often face some of the most stressful periods of their lives. During this challenging time, you don’t have to face these legal matters alone.

Contact Chapman Steffler LLP today to schedule a consultation and gain the peace of mind knowing that you have a trusted legal team by your side.

OUR LEGAL PRACTICE AREAS

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Child support refers to the amount of support payable by one parent to the other for the support of a child. In Ontario, child support is governed by the Child Support Guidelines and has two key components:

(1)  “Table” support

(2)  Contributions to “special or extraordinary expenses” (also known as “section 7 expenses”)

“Table” child support is the amount that the payor parent is required to pay to the payor parent each month, to assist the recipient parent with expenses such as food, clothing, housing, and transportation costs.

It is referred to as “Table support” or the “Table amount” because the Child Support Guidelines include tables (or charts) setting out the amount of support payable based on the payor parent’s income and the number of children.

In most cases, where a parent’s only source of income is a single employer, the Table amount can be determined fairly easily. However, there are many cases where the analysis can become more complicated, such as where the parents share equal, or close to equal, time with the children, the payor parent is self-employed, or a parent is intentionally under-employed or unemployed.

“Special or extraordinary expenses” (aka “section 7 expenses”) are certain types of additional expenses to which the parents are required to contribute, over and above any Table support obligation. Section 7 expenses include:

  • Childcare expenses incurred as a result of the primary parent’s employment, education, training for employment, illness, or disability;
  • The portion of any extended health insurance premiums attributable to the child;
  • Health-related expenses that exceed insurance coverage by at least $100 annually;
  • Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education, or for any other educational program that meets a child’s particular needs;
  • Expenses for post-secondary education; and
  • Extraordinary extracurricular activity expenses.


The
Child Support Guidelines stipulate that parents are to contribute to these expenses in proportion to their respective incomes. For example, if parents have a combined annual income of $100,000, with Parent A earning $70,000 and Parent B earning $30,000, Parent A’s proportionate share would be 70% and Parent B’s share would be 30%.

The key factors for determining the amount of Table child support payable are:

  • Where the children live;
  • The number of children for whom support is payable; and
  • The payor parent’s income.


When determining the parents’ respective shares for contributions to section 7 expenses, each parent’s income is relevant.

Spousal support (sometimes referred to as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance” or “financial support”) refers to the amount payable from one spouse to the other for the support of the recipient spouse.

Spousal support can be paid periodically (monthly is most common) or in a lump sum. If you pay spousal support periodically, in accordance with a proper separation agreement or court order, spousal support is tax deductible for the payor and becomes taxable income for the recipient.

There are four main issues to be determined in relation to spousal support: 

(1) Entitlement – On what basis is the recipient entitled to support? 

(2) Quantum – What is the appropriate amount of support?

(3) Commencement date – When will support payments begin?

(4) Duration – For how long will the support be paid?

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) can be used a resource when making spousal support payments.

Both married spouses and “common law” spouses (i.e. unmarried spouses who have cohabited continuously for at least 3 years, or who have cohabited “in a relationship of some permanence” and have a child together) can make spousal support claims.

However, merely being spouses does not guarantee entitlement to spousal support. To be eligible for spousal support, the claimant spouse must establish entitlement on one or more of the following grounds:

  • Contractual – This means that the parties have a Cohabitation Agreement or Marriage Contract that specifically provides for the recipient’s entitlement to support in the event of relationship breakdown.
  • Compensatory – Compensatory entitlement to support arises where one spouse is left with lasting financial disadvantages as a result of decisions made or roles assumed during the relationship, for example, where one spouse left the workforce to be a stay-at-home parent or homemaker, or where one spouse has left a job to move for the benefit of the other spouse’s career and experienced setbacks in their own career as a result.
  • Need-based/non-compensatory – If a spouse is unable to provide for his or her own needs, or is unable to maintain a lifestyle similar to what the parties enjoyed during their relationship, that spouse may be entitled to need-based or non-compensatory support.

The critical factors in determining the amount and duration of spousal support include:

  • The financial means and needs of each spouse;
  • The roles of each spouse during the relationship;
  • The post-separation parenting roles of the spouses;
  • The length of time the parties cohabited (i.e., how long the spouses lived together);
  • The nature of entitlement to spousal support; and
  • The ages of the spouses at separation.

To schedule a consultation, please call our office at 705-503-3696 or enter your contact information and a brief description of your case in the “Schedule a Legal Consultation” box and we will contact you for more details. In addition to helping negotiate spousal support order and agreement and how much each party is entitled to receive, we can help with parenting time, and other issues.