What is the “table” I keep hearing about in relation to child support?

September 26th, 2011 by

The “table”, as commonly referred to, means the Federal Child Support Guidelines table. This table, which has been in effect since May 1, 1997, is a grid setting out what the payor of child support must pay to the recipient based on his or her income and the number of children. Judges are reluctant to sway from applying the table amount of child support in family law cases, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as cases of undue hardship. Proving that you are unable to pay the table amount of child support based on undue hardship is not as easy as it sounds. That being said, if you are the payor of child support, you should be paying the table amount of support based on your income.
In situations where the payor sees the children for more than 40% of the time (which is called a “shared parenting” arrangement), the payor should not have to pay the full table amount of child support. In these types of arrangements, a “set-off” should apply. In other words, you should calculate the table amount that the payor would pay if he or she had the children less than 40% of the time and subtract what the other parent would theoretically be paying based on his or her income if he or she had the children the majority of the time. The difference is what the payor should be paying.
For more information, please contact one of the family lawyers at DSF and pick up a copy of John Schuman’s book, Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law.

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