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Separation and Divorce: Child Support

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What income information is needed to calculate child support?

The payor parent usually has to give detailed information about their income. The other parent might have to share the same information. For example, if:

  • there are special or extraordinary expenses,
  • they have split or shared custody, or
  • they do not agree on who has to pay support.

Examples of information that must usually be shared include:

  • income tax returns,
  • statements of earnings from employers,
  • financial statements if the parent owns a business, and
  • notices of assessment and reassessment.

Imputing income

If a parent does not agree with what the payor parent says their income is, they can go to court and ask a judge to decide an amount for the payor parent’s income. For example, if the payor parent:

  • does not share information about their income
  • does not have a job or is underemployed on purpose
  • is self-employed or is being paid in cash, and there is reason to believe they do not report all of their income

The judge might decide an amount for the payor parent’s income that is reasonable based on things such as the parent’s work history, past income, and education. This is called imputing income. The judge applies the Table to that income.

Updating income information

If there is a court order or separation agreement that deals with child support, it might require the payor parent to update their income information each year.

If support is calculated using the Ontario government’s online Child Support Service, each parent whose income was used to decide the amount of support must give updated income information to the other parent each year. This must be done unless the parents agree to something else.