Demystifying Child Support Payments: Common FAQs Answered
Updated: Nov 8
Does child support change every year?
Child support is usually adjusted every year based on your line 1500 income from the previous year as indicated on your income tax return. This may not be the case if you and your ex-partner have come to an alternate agreement.
When you first start paying support, you should use the most recent income information available to you when consulting the Child Support Guideline tables (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/2017/look-rech.aspx).
What is the difference between child support and child tax benefit?
Child support is payable by a parent after a separation or divorce. The Ontario Child Benefit, which is commonly referred to as the “child tax benefit”, is a payment received from the provincial government based on household income and the parenting time arrangement between the separated parents.
How do I change payment method of child support?
How you pay child support will depend on what was agreed to or ordered.
If you and your ex-spouse have agreed on one method of payment and you wish to change the method of payment, approach them and ask to make the change. If they are in agreement, write out what you have agreed to, sign and date the agreement, and make the change.
If the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is involved and they are garnishing your wage, and you do not want them to and would rather pay your ex-partner directly, your ex-partner will need to sign and submit a Notice of Withdrawal. Follow this link to access a Notice of Withdrawal: https://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/forms/ssbforms.nsf/GetFileAttach/006-FRO-006E~2/$File/FRO-006E.pdf
If you want to change any term of a support agreement or a final court order, but your ex-partner does not agree to the changes, you must file a Motion to Change and supporting documentation. Visit https://www.getsmartforms.ca/ to access a fillable and user-friendly motion to change form that also includes the supporting forms you are required to complete and file.
What income amount is used for child support?
When you first start paying support, you should use the most recent income information you have when consulting the Child Support Guideline tables (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/2017/look-rech.aspx). Child support is calculated based on your gross income. If you are paid as employee, use your line 1500 income.
Other sources of income (such as rental income) will also be considered income for the purposes of child support. You should consult a lawyer with respect to whether certain deductions are applicable to additional income for the purposes of child support.
What changes child support?
A change in income changes what you owe in child support.
Does marriage change child support?
No, whether you are married or common-law does not affect whether you owe child support or how much you owe.
Can you change child support without going to court?
Yes, you can adjust child support if both parties agree to the adjustment. Please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/set-up-or-update-child-support-online#section-1 for more information.
If both parties agree to adjust a court order or separation agreement, you can jointly file a Consent Motion to Change. You can find that form here: https://ontariocourtforms.on.ca/en/family-law-rules-forms/.
You cannot change child support pursuant to a court order if your ex-partner does not agree to the change. If this is the case, you need to file a Motion to Change. Visit https://www.getsmartforms.ca/ to access a fillable and user-friendly motion to change form.