Child support is the financial support that a parent is obligated to provide to the other parent for a child. Individuals who have a parent-like relationship, such as a stepparent, may be obligated to provide this support whether or not a couple was married or of the same sex. Whether child support is paid and how much is to be paid can be determined by an agreement between parents or pursuant to an order from the court.
If child support is owed, the court will use child support guidelines to determine the amount that the paying parent is responsible for providing. In general, payments are decided based on the income of the parent paying support and how many children are being supported, though certain exceptions, such as the costs of daycare or special medical treatments, may alter the amount of support that someone is obligated to provide.
Once a child support order has been established, it can be modified. There are situations where it may be necessary to change the amount of support provided, either by altering an agreement already in place or through the courts. These modifications are commonly made pursuant to an increase or decrease in a parent’s income or a change in the living situation of the child.
If someone is seeking child support or to have an existing child support order modified, the process can be complex and based on a variety of factors, including the income of the parent obligated to pay support and any special circumstances. A lawyer could assist someone with these legal issues by explaining the guidelines for determining child support and how the court uses the guidelines.
Source: The Canadian Bar Association, “Child Support “, September 11, 2014
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