Child Support

According to MoneySense.ca, the average cost of raising one (1) child to age 18 in Ontario is a glaring $243,660 for the very bare essentials. This is of course before you send them off to University.  It also does not consider situations where the child has special or specific needs as in the case where a child needs special schooling or medical attention. It does not consider extra-curricular activities, travel and other expenses. But you and your co-parent both work hard to make sure that the needs of your child or children are met regardless of relationship status… right?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: ... sometimes. Ideally, each parent contributes as much as they can to the support of the child or children in question; financially or otherwise. Often, when the parents of a child are together, it is easier to work together to manage the financial obligations associated with your children. However, in some cases, after a divorce or separation, one parent may find themselves bearing the brunt of providing for the family even though their co-parent is working or able to work.

This may seem unfair or unreasonable, especially if the needs of the child are not sufficiently met. After all, it is the responsibility of each parent to provide for their child. This is where the custodial parent would seek a child support order requiring their co-parent to contribute financially to the child’s needs.

Alternatively, perhaps you do pay child support but your financial situation has changed… you may have lost your job, become injured or incurred other expenses that are essential to your own sustenance. Life doesn’t always stay the same and it is your right and responsibility to ensure that child support payments are fair to all involved… even you.

In Ontario, the amount that is paid to support your children is determined by the Child Support Guidelines. The parent who lives away from the child becomes the payor of child support after separation.  He or she becomes responsible for contributing child support to the parent the child lives with, usually on a monthly basis.  Sometimes the payor is not the child’s biological parent but someone who has acted as a parent to that child.

Special Expenses or Section 7 expenses are for Child Support contributions for educational, medical, recreational or other costs that are reasonable or necessary for the child. Reasonableness is determined by many factors including looking back at the typical expenses the family paid for the child before separation and your child’s needs after separation.

Changing the amount of child support you pay can get complicated fast.  If you are the Payor, the longer you’ve waited before seeking a decrease in the amount you pay for your children, the more calculations of your annual income and justifications for its decrease you will be required to make.  On the other hand, if you are the Recipient and are aware of your entitlement to an increase for an extended time, but take no steps to obtain it, in time you may forfeit that entitlement.

Child Support issues are highly individualized.  The lawyers at Sterling Law are experienced in Child Support issues and are ready to assist you with your child support concerns. Don’t allow time to pass to make sure that you are being treated fairly, whether you are the payor or the recipient.



We have well over 25 years of experience and understand what you’re going through. 

We endure many hardships and make untold sacrifice for our loved ones.  So when a separation or divorce occurs, we are wounded at the core.  The bravest of us wither; we crumble; we become unable to perform our basic day-to-day activities, much less take on the legal system.  At Sterling Law we understand.  We are ready to address your situation now to ensure that you safeguard your family and property. 


Not only do we understand the intricacies of all the issues involved; Equally importantly, we at Sterling Law understand that this is one of the most challenging times you’ll ever experience.