Child Support FAQs

When do the Ontario Child Support Guidelines Apply?

mom and dad lift up child boy forest
Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

If parents go to court to get a child support order, in almost all cases the court must use the Guidelines to set the amount.

This is true whether the order is applied for under:

  • the Divorce Act by parents who are divorcing
  • the Family Law Act by parents who were never married, or who were married and have separated but are not getting a divorce

The Guidelines must also be applied whenever a parent applies to the court to change any support order, even if it was originally made before the Guidelines came into effect.

Parents who reach an out-of-court agreement about support do not have to apply the Guidelines if they do not want to. But they should look at the Guidelines before deciding how much support will be paid. If they do not apply the Guidelines, the agreement should say why not.

Although parents can make their own agreements without considering the Guidelines, if the court is later asked to consider the amount of support, the judge can change the amount to reflect the Guidelines.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.