Who will get custody of the children?

In most cases, the parents will make decisions toward the best interest of the children when considering where and when they will spend their time. If the parents cannot agree on custody, the Courts will decide for you and this may not be an ideal solution based on your family’s needs.

Please see this link for common custody schedules, or consider what will work best for your children. Some parties choose to draft their contract with great specificity and outline holiday schedules to avoid future conflict. See a list of Key Dates to consider if this option is attractive to you.

How much child support will I pay/receive?

While individuals enjoy significant autonomy to make decisions when separating, child support is determined pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines, which provide for an amount to be payable based on the number of children, province of residence, and the income or one or both parents.

For more information related to child support, please click here for more details.

Niagara Mediation - Children

Does payment under the Child Support Guidelines end all financial obligations to the children?

The Child Support Guidelines cover the necessities of life including shelter, food, clothes and such, but there are many other needs of children to ensure a happy and healthy life. Accordingly, parents must share, often evenly or in proportion to their income, special and extraordinary expenses (sometimes called section 7 expenses) that they incur on behalf of a child.

Special and extraordinary expenses include:

  • child-care expenses that you may have to pay as a result of a job, an illness, a disability, or educational requirements for employment if your child spends the majority of the time with you,
  • the portion of your medical and dental insurance premiums that provides coverage for your child,
  • your child’s healthcare needs that exceed $100 per year if the cost is not covered by insurance (for example, orthodontics, counselling, medication or eye care),
  • expenses for post-secondary education (see below),
  • extraordinary expenses for your child’s primary education, secondary education or any other educational programs that meet your child’s particular needs, and
  • extraordinary expenses for your child’s extracurricular activities.

Is support tax deductible?

No, child support is normally not tax deductible by the payor, nor does the recipient include it as taxable income.

If one party leaves the house and children during this process, will they have to pay child support during this time?

If the children reside with a spouse the majority of the time, the party that does not have the children will be required to pay child support. If the children reside with you half of the time, you may still be required to pay child support to your spouse if your income is greater than your spouse’s income, though the amount of child support may be at a reduced level.

What about the child’s college/university costs?

In many cases (but not all), tuition and living expenses while attending post-secondary education are an extraordinary expense for which both parents are responsible. You and your former spouse should consider the financial contribution the child can make towards their university expenses (think summer job money, scholarships, bursaries, student loans like OSAP), and then divide the difference between the parents evenly or in proportion to their incomes.

Niagara Mediation - Children