Child Support FAQs

What are the factors that determine child support?

kids doing homework together
Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

According the Child Support Guidelines, the income of the payor and which parent has custody of the child are the largest determinants of the amount of child support.

First, child support is determined by the amount of total gross income of the payor parent. Gross income is calculated based on the payor parents total income before tax, rather than after tax. The parent who has custody of the child(ren) is referred to as the recipient parent.

After determining the amount of income of the payor parent, a standardized table called the Federal Child Support Guidelines is used to calculate the amount of support to be paid. These guidelines are based on two factors: the payor parents total gross income, and the number of children requiring support.

In situations where there is shared custody between two parents, the amount of support to be paid is more fluid. Generally, a “set off” approach is used. This means that child support can be estimated by determining the amount that each parent would pay under the Guidelines, and then subtracting the smaller amount from the larger amount.

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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), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

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