Following a separation nothing can be more frustrating than determining what is a fair amount of money to be paid for a child’s needs. Everyone has their own view as to what is considered fair and most people cannot agree as to what constitutes a base, monthly amount that is required to provide for a child’s day to day needs and expenses. A quick online search will turn up what are called the Federal Child Support Guidelines, however the description and explanation as to how these guidelines were created and why they are used are not as straight forward as most people would hope for.
More often than not people are surprised and angry once they review the provincial support charts to see what the government has stated they should pay for support of their children. It needs to be understood that the family justice system requires these sort of one size fits all guidelines so that the court system is not in overwhelmed with each individual case to deal with the matter of support. While there are sections of the guidelines that provide secondary relief for those who can prove that they have a special case to determine a different child support amount, when a person brings their family law matter to a court in Ontario, they should be prepared for judges to strictly follow the child support guidelines.
For those who wish to try and avoid the guidelines, it can be difficult to do unless both parties to the family law file are willing to sit down and come to an agreement between them. There have been court cases in Ontario where the court recognizes that the parties did their own research and came to an appropriate agreement concerning base child support, although these amounts are typically different from the guidelines due to compensation of another kind between the parties. For those who want to try and avoid the strict base child support amounts set forth in the guidelines they need to discuss settlement and mediation proceedings with their family law lawyer in order to determine if such a course of action may be possible.