Child Support Obligation
A parent has a legal duty to support a child, who is:
- under the age of majority, or
- over the age of majority but unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to obtain the necessaries of life.
Ontario Family Law Act
Section 31(1) of the Family Law Act, provides that every parent has an obligation to support their unmarried child who is a minor or is enrolled in a full time program of education.
Entitlement to Child Support for an Adult Child
The onus of establishing the entitlement of an adult child to support is on the party seeking the support. A child who is over the age of majority continues to be entitled to support if s/he is enrolled in a full-time program of education, or is unable to obtain the necessaries of life as a result of illness, disability or other cause.
Special or Extraordinary Expenses
Other expenses such as child care expenses, health-related expenses, expenses for post-secondary education and extracurricular activities are to be shared by the parents in proportion to their respective incomes. This is called special or extraordinary expenses.
Child support is not considered income for tax purposes. Child support is neither deductible by the support payor nor included in the income of the support recipient for tax purposes. The income of the support recipient is irrelevant in the table child support calculations.
Child Support and Access
It is important to note that child access and child support are separate issues. A parent cannot be denied access to their child because he or she has not paid child support. Conversely, a parent may still be obligated to pay child support even if they do not have access to their children.