If you are married with children and are considering a divorce, child support is one of the most critical issues you need to discuss with your spouse. As a rule of thumb, your children’s well-being should always come first, whether you are the spouse seeking the divorce or being divorced. But the truth is child support is a complex area of family law. This is why you need the help of experienced child support lawyers.
What Is Child Support and What Does It Include?
As a parent, you have a legal duty to support your children until they become adults. This obligation is what is legally referred to as child support. When discussing child support, the term ‘Section 7’ child support will pop up several times.
What Is Section 7 Child Support?
This name derives from Section 7 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines and highlights certain special and extraordinary expenses a child is entitled to.
The guidelines describe such expenses as special and extraordinary if they serve the child’s best interest and are reasonable for the parent. For this reason, the court might reexamine the family’s pre-divorce spending patterns to determine whether the expense is necessary and reasonable.
In simple terms, when seeking child support, you may not include new expenses, such as a vacation every two months, if none of such expenses existed before the divorce.
Examples of common and reasonable expenses include:
- child care expenses arising from disability, employment, illness, or education of a parent;
- child health insurance premiums;
- health expenses costing more than $100 a year; and
- expenses for post-secondary education, including tuition fees, books, stationery, etc.
What Is Disclosure in Child Support?
As a parent required by law to pay child support, you must disclose your income, including monthly expenses and debt. You can do this by filling out a disclosure form.
But even as you fill out this form, you must understand your rights. Not knowing your rights could mean getting yourself into agreements you should avoid in the first place. This is where the importance of working with an experienced child support lawyer from Bykov Law comes in.
How Does Child Support Work in Canada?
Many factors come into play when calculating child support in Canada. Generally, the most important aspects to consider include:
- parent’s incomes;
- number of children eligible for child support; and
- how parents spend their time with their children.
In addition, the Department of Justice in Canada has a child support table you can use to estimate the base amount needed to support a child. The estimates the table provides apply in all jurisdictions but Quebec.
Child support laws also vary depending on different situations. For example, federal child support guidelines apply in all cases of divorce. However, there is an exception to this rule – unless both parents live in the same designated province, such as New Brunswick, Quebec, and Manitoba. In that case, these provinces will apply their own guidelines during a divorce involving residents of the provinces.
Then there is also the issue of child support deviations. It is important to understand that the table values are not fixed – they could change if:
- one parent earns more than $150,000 a year;
- one parent goes through undue hardship and proves it to the court;
- the child is 19 or older and does not go to school full-time; or
- the payor of child support is a stepparent
How to Choose the Best Toronto Lawyer for Child Support
As you’ve discovered, child support cases are not the easiest to handle without a lawyer. You need to resolve many complex issues when determining child support. This is especially important if one party avoids financial responsibility for their child, placing the weight on the other spouse instead.
Even though it is important to work with a lawyer, not every family law lawyer you come across is worth your time. For this reason, you need to understand specific things to look for when choosing the right child support lawyer in Toronto.
Experience plays an integral role in determining a child support case. You need a lawyer who is familiar with handling such cases. For best results, read their reviews to find out what other clients say about them.
Communication is also a key ingredient when looking for the right child support lawyer in Toronto, ON. When considering this aspect, ask yourself the following questions:
- How does the lawyer respond to your questions?
- Does the lawyer listen to you when you speak?
- Does the lawyer seem knowledgeable?
- Does the lawyer sound committed to your case?
How the Toronto, ON Child Support Lawyers at Bykov Law Can Help
At Bykov Law, we are not the only family law firm in Toronto and its surroundings, but we stand out from the rest. Our family law lawyers can help you understand your legal obligations during child support. We break complex legal concepts into easy-to-digest bits, ensuring that you understand what you are paying for and that your rights are protected.
But that is not all – if you are the parent owed child support, we can help you understand what you are entitled to.
You need a lawyer even if you and your ex-spouse have a separation agreement. This is because the issue of child support is not something you can easily ignore during a divorce. If you do not make the right decisions when you have the chance, it might be up to the court to decide for you and your ex-spouse.
Half of the time, when that happens, the decision might not be in your best interests. But with an experienced child support lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that someone knowledgeable has your best interests at heart.
Child support lawyers from Bykov Law are always on standby, ready to listen to you and help you make the right decisions regarding your children’s lives after divorce. Whether you need to understand your obligations or protect your assets from dishonest individuals, professional help is a phone call away. So get in touch with us today at 416.519.3259 to speak with an experienced child support lawyer in Toronto, ON.