If your children do not live with you, you are expected to pay child support to the parent with whom they live. The amount of child support is based on the payor’s income and the number of children being supported.
When parents are married and are divorcing, child support is established based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines. For parents who were not married or are married but are not seeking a divorce, child support is based on the Ontario Child Support Guidelines. Both sets of Guidelines determine exactly the amount of child support payable, once the payor’s income is known. That amount is referred to as “table support”.
What constitutes the payor’s income is open to much debate, especially for self-employed people. Income reported on a tax return is not always a fair determination of income for establishing child support obligations.
In addition to “table support”, non-custodial parents are expected to contribute to special and extraordinary expenses, such as expenses related to childcare, health care, education or extracurricular activities. Both parents share these special expenses in proportion to their incomes.