Judges are bound by the Divorce Act. The Federal Child Support Guidelines are a subsection of the Divorce Act and was created in part to provide a clear separation between parenting time and child support and to establish a fair standard of financial support for children.
The Divorce Act supersedes any agreements you may have with your spouse and the judge may reject your divorce application if child support does not meet the amounts set out by the federal guidelines, even if you both agree to a different amount (below or above the guidelines).
These additional links may be helpful: Child Support in Canada and The Basics: Child Support Video.
To calculate the amount of child support required, please visit Child Support Calculator and Step-by-Step Guide. The step-by-step guide also sets out how to calculate child support amounts in situations such as split parenting time and shared parenting time.
What is considered a child of the marriage? Here’s an excerpt from the Divorce Act:
Child of the marriage means a child of two spouses or former spouses who, at the material time,
(a) is under the age of majority and who has not withdrawn from their charge, or
(b) is the age of majority or over and under their charge but unable, by reason of illness, disability, or other cause, to withdraw from their charge or to obtain the necessaries of life; (enfant à charge).
The age of majority is 18 in six provinces: Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan and 19 in four provinces and the three territories: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.
If after reading the information about child support, you still want to apply for a divorce with child support arrangements that deviate from the guidelines, it is with the understanding that we cannot guarantee your divorce will be granted. You’ll need to provide us with a paragraph or two stating why you are deviating from the federal guidelines. This reason is required to be included in the divorce documents. It will be up to the judge reviewing your divorce application to grant a divorce based on what you have provided.