When Does Child Support Stop in Canada: A Brief Guide
In Canada, there is no set age at which child support payments must stop. The general rule is that support payments continue until the child is no longer a "minor" - that is, until they turn 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory.
In any case, it is important to remember that child support is not a punishment for the non-custodial parent. It is simply a way to help ensure that the child has the financial resources they need to live a comfortable life.
The Basics: What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment made by one parent to the other parent for the support of their shared child or children. In Canada, child support is governed by the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines set out how much child support should be paid, based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children they have.
The Guidelines also allow for special or extraordinary expenses, such as child care or extracurricular activities, to be factored into the child support calculation. The Guidelines are not mandatory, but they are generally followed by the courts.
How is Child Support Calculated?
The amount of child support that is to be paid is calculated using the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines set out how much child support should be paid, based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children they have.
When Does Child Support End?
In Canada, there is no specific age at which child support payments must end. The obligation to pay child support generally ceases when a child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old in most provinces and territories. However, in some cases, child support may be payable for a longer period.
What Happens If My Ex-Spouse and I Agree to a Different Support Arrangement?
If you and your ex-spouse agree to a different child support arrangement, you can request that a court vary (change) the existing order. The court will only grant a variation if it is in the best interests of the child. Factors that the court will consider include the child's needs, the financial resources of the parents, and the child's age and level of maturity.
What Happens If My Child Is Enrolled in Full-Time Post-Secondary Education?
In some cases, child support payments may continue beyond the age of majority if a child is still enrolled in full-time post-secondary education. The court will only order this type of support if it is in the best interests of the child and the child is attending school on a full-time basis.
What Happens If My Child Has a Disability?
If your child has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from being able to support him- or herself, child support payments may continue indefinitely. The court will only order this type of support if it is in the best interests of the child and the child is unable to support him- or herself due to the disability.
What if the Receiving Parent Remarries?
If the receiving parent remarries, the new spouse's income is not considered when calculating child support. However, if the paying parent remarries, the new spouse's income may be taken into account when calculating child support, depending on the province or territory.
The age at which child support payments stop in Canada can vary depending on the province or territory in which you live. In some provinces, child support payments may continue until the child turns 18, or 19 if they are still attending high school. In other provinces, child support payments may end when the child turns 16.
If you have any questions about your specific situation, you should contact a lawyer or a family law professional in your province or territory.
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