Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, regardless of how they feel about the other parent. This is because the law is that child support is the right of the child and not for the parent in whose custody they reside. Though the law bases child support on specified rules as set out in the Federal Child Support Guidelines(“Guidelines”), it is imperative to note that support is generally calculated based on parents’ gross incomes.
The child support obligation is non-negotiable and enforceable as a debt owed to the child. This means that the other parent can claim child support in arrears if payments have not been made or have not been made in accordance with the Guidelines. Thus, child support is not an obligation that can be wished away by a parent who thinks it is inconvenient.
A few things to note also…
- For ease, the parent with the larger payment pays the difference to the other parent.
- Where one parent has primary residence, also referred to as physical custody of the children, they would be entitled to more child support than in a shared parenting arrangement. This is however not a reason to seek more parenting time, as the court will always consider the best interests of the child in making a parenting order and not the parent’s convenience.
- Under the law and the rules of court, divorce will not be granted by the court until the court is satisfied that arrangements for child support are in accordance with the Guidelines. Therefore, child support cannot be waived, unlike spousal support.
- The court can award an amount different from what is in the Guidelines based on circumstances prescribed by law.
Get in touch today so we can assist you with any concerns you may have regarding child support and how the law applies to your particular circumstances.