In recent years, it has become more common place to see “complex” families where one (or more parents) have children with several other parents, or is a step-parent to children in other families. Therefore, how child support is calculated when one parent has children with several other parents is an increasingly common question. The solution is different for parents who are the biological (or adoptive) parent to all the children or the biological parent for child (or children) and a step parent to other children. Generally, child support is not payable when you are living with, and sharing the household expenses for the other parent and the children. This is a situation that would most likely be the case if you are still married and not separated.
Biological and Adoptive Parents
First, biological (and adoptive) parents always pay table support under the Child Support Guidelines. There are some possible adjustments where:
- The payer’s income is over $150,000.00 (pursuant to section 4 of the Child Support Guidelines)
- Where paying support causes undue hardship – see section 10but note that proving undue hardship in court is difficult
- There can also be adjustments for shared or split custody but for tax reasons it is better for both parents to pay full support in those situation.
When the child support payer has all the children with one other parent, calculating child support is significantly easier. The parents can obtain a version of the Child Support Tables and locate the table that pertains to their current situation. For instance, if there are three children, with just two parents, it is a simple matter of looking at the table for three children. Things work differently where the support payer has children with several different parents. The Child Support Guidelines work on the premise that children should not be disadvantaged by their parents’ choices, and there are some expenses that can be shared between kids in the same family. That being said, where there are multiple support receiving parents, the support payer pays the full table amount for the number of children with each parent. Having children with several different parents can mean having to pay a substantial amount of child support. However, there can be an adjustment for undue hardship in extreme circumstances, but again, this can be difficult to demonstrate and prove. It is preferable for the parents to make the financial sacrifices, not the children. Child support where there are multiple parents, or more complicated parenting arrangements can be difficult to determine. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account, and there may be additional ways that the law can help you. The best way to protect yourself, your children and your financial security, is to find out how the law applies specifically to your situation and what steps you should take. Speaking to a highly experienced lawyer, John Schuman of Devry Smith Frank, will help alleviate some of the stress and complications that are often associated with family law matters. Call today at 416-446-5080 or 416-446-5847. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to the Ontario Family Law Podcast!