Divorce and child support laws favor limiting judicial discretion and providing certainty for parents dissolving their marriages. Establishing child support guidelines based on the payor’s income and number of children is one way of accomplishing this need. However, the law allows variation from the guidelines when the paying spouse earns more than $150,000 annually.
When you or your spouse earns a substantial income and you have children, seek advice from the Ottawa high-income child support lawyers at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm. A capable child support lawyer could help you calculate the table obligation and assess whether a variance is justified.
Each province publishes a child support table based on the cost of food, clothing, school supplies, and other necessities, as well as the parent’s capacity to pay given their gross annual income. The table amount does not include special or extraordinary expenses, like dental care, uninsured or unreimbursed medical expenses, or extracurricular activities. Parents are expected to share the burden of extraordinary expenses based on their respective incomes.
When a parent’s income exceeds $150,000, the presumed appropriate child support payment is the table amount for the number of children plus a percentage of the parent’s income in excess of the threshold amount. For example, the Ontario Child Support Guidelines call for a parent with two children earning $250,000 annually to pay the table amount of $1,992 plus 1.76 percent of $100,000 ($1,760) each month. The parent’s payment according to the table would be $3,752 per month.
However, the table amount does not always address certain lifestyle expectations of children of high-income parents. It does not account for:
An Ottawa legal professional like Paul Riley could help you construct a child support agreement that preserves your children’s high-income standard of living after divorce.
Disagreements about child support could negatively impact the children during a time when they may already be feeling anxious and vulnerable. When parents negotiate in good faith to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible, children typically have an easier time adjusting to divorce.
Parents and children benefit when parents resolve their child support disputes without turning to the courts. Negotiations between parents are private and allow them to create a resolution to their specific circumstances.
As an Ottawa lawyer with experience in high-income cases, Paul Riley has a network of professionals who could assist you in developing a fair and workable child support arrangement. Many parents work with a mediator to resolve such disputes. Wealthier couples may need the range of expertise they could find in a collaborative divorce team to help them develop an appropriate child support agreement.
When negotiations regarding child support do not result in an agreement, the parent seeking a variance must petition the court to order child support that deviates from the table amount. The parent requesting the variation must prove it is necessary and the table amount inappropriate under the circumstances.
The parent seeking variation usually wants an increase over the table amount. To justify the increase, they must show that their budgeted childcare expenses exceed the table amount, and their own income is insufficient to make up the shortfall. The budgeted expenses must be reasonable. For example, maintaining a stable of multiple horses for each child might not be a reasonable expense. But depending on your pre-divorce lifestyle, the judge could order child support to cover the cost of a horse, boarding, equipment, and riding lessons.
Although the parent requesting the variance has the burden of showing it is necessary and reasonable, the payor could present evidence demonstrating a request is not appropriate or proving the requesting spouse has sufficient resources to meet the additional costs. In high-income cases where both parents must contribute income to their children’s support, and an Ottawa lawyer like Paul Riley could help a parent prove their co-parent is not bearing a fair share of childrearing expenses.
Parents want what is best for their children, but negotiating child support could trigger emotional reactions. Working with an experienced legal professional like Paul Riley could help keep the process businesslike and efficient.
Now you can have your Consultation with Paul Riley any time from the comfort of your own home. With video calls from Zoom, your Team at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm can meet with you virtually, and learn about your case. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone.
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