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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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How do I get child support?

Whether you are legally married or living common-law, your partner must pay child support if the children are living primarily with you and he has more than a minimal income.

The court will use the Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of child support your partner must pay you. The amount is based on things like the income of the person paying support and the number of children they have to support. This amount is sometimes called the "table" or "base" amount of child support.

Child Support Guidelines: rules that are used to calculate how much child support a parent pays each month to help support their child financially.

In some cases, the court will order child support that is based on a higher income than what your partner says that he makes. For example, the court might do this if your partner earns income in cash that they do not report on their income taxes.

Your partner might also have to contribute toward special or extraordinary expenses. For example, if your child is in daycare, or has special needs, your partner might have to pay extra amounts of child support to contribute to these costs. These amounts are in addition to the table amount of child support. These expenses are divided between you and your partner.

Child support amounts

The amount of child support you receive can be affected by the amount of time the children are in the other parent's care. Talk to a lawyer about how your children's living arrangements can affect the amount of child support you might get.

Either you or your partner can go to court to change the amount of child support. For example, if your partner loses their job, they can ask to have the amount of child support reduced. Or, if you know your partner's income has increased, you can ask to have the amount of child support increased.

A lawyer can explain the Child Support Guidelines and other things that might affect your situation.

For more information, see the CLEO resource Separation and Divorce: Child Support.