Ottawa Child Support Lawyer

Regardless of what relationship they had or have with each other, both of a child’s parents are expected to contribute financially to their child’s wellbeing and best interests. That being said, the nature of your and your co-parent’s relationship can impact how child support obligations are calculated upon divorce.

Making sense of the child support rules and guidelines applicable in your case could be made easier with guidance from a family lawyer who is familiar with helping people like you through similar situations in the past. By working with a qualified Ottawa child support lawyer, you could more effectively protect your interests while still ensuring your child’s needs are met.

Child Support Laws in Ottawa

An Ontario court may apply the federal Divorce Act or the Ontario Family Law Act when deciding how much child support a particular parent should pay to the other, both of which an Ottawa child support lawyer could explain in greater detail. Generally, the Divorce Act governs child support claims made during divorce proceedings, whereas the Ontario Family Law Act applies in cases involving co-parents who were never married or spouses electing to legally separate rather than divorce.

Additionally, the Divorce Act defines a “child” for the purposes of child support to be any child produced by a marriage who is still under the charge of one or both parents due to being under 18 or having some illness or disability which prevents them from living on their own. Conversely, a “child” under the Family Law Act is defined as any unmarried minor or full-time college or university student.

Importantly, both Acts follow the same Child Support Guidelines (originally added to the Federal Divorce Act and then copied in the Family Law Act), which means the baseline amount of payable child support will be the same regardless of which specific Act applies. This figure offers baseline amounts based on the gross yearly income of the prospective payor and the number of children to whom they would owe support.

These guidelines are updated yearly to adjust for inflation. In general, individuals making under a certain amount per year are not required to provide child support payments, and different formulas apply to individuals with four or fewer children compared to individuals with five or more children. A knowledgeable child support lawyer in Ottawa could help an individual understand how these laws may impact a specific situation.

When Can Courts Disregard Child Support Guidelines?

There are only two situations in which Ottawa courts may deviate from the applicable Child Support Guidelines under either Act. The first is if special provisions for the child(ren) in question have been outlined in a preexisting agreement or court order which, if enforced, would make it inequitable to apply the Guidelines without alternation.

Second, if divorcing parents signed a domestic contract that stipulates an amount of child support different from the amount that the Guidelines would order, that agreement may take precedent over the Guidelines so long as the court affirms that it would provide a reasonable amount of support for the child(ren) in question. An experienced Ottawa child support lawyer could provide crucial assistance establishing that either of these scenarios applies in a particular case.

Get in Touch with an Ottawa Child Support Lawyer Today

Determining how much child support you or your co-parent owe after separating or divorcing is not always as simple as plugging your income into an online calculator. Depending on your situation, several different rules—and exceptions to those rules—could make determining your financial obligations an especially complex task.

Fortunately, assistance is available from a seasoned legal professional with years of experience pursuing optimal outcomes for parents on both sides of this kind of dispute. Call at any time, 24 hours a day, to learn how an Ottawa child support lawyer could help you.

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