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Child and spousal support when you are on social assistance

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What you need to know about family law when you read this publication

To understand what we talk about in this publication, it is helpful to know some things about family law in Ontario.

Child support

Family law says that all parents must support their "dependent" children. Children are usually dependent until they are at least 18 years old and sometimes longer.

And parents must provide financial support even if they have never lived with their child. This is true even if the parents have never been married to each other or lived together.

When parents do not live together, their child may live most of the time with one of the parents.

The parent the child lives with most of the time usually has most of the expenses of raising the child. The other parent must help with those expenses by paying money to the parent the child lives with. This is called "child support".

There is more information about child support in CLEO's Family Law resource Separation and Divorce: Child Support.

Spousal support

The law also says that, in some situations, your spouse has to support you financially even after your relationship has ended.

Spousal support is money that one spouse pays the other, after they separate or divorce.

Spousal support is almost always paid by the spouse with the higher income to the spouse with the lower income.

There is more information about spousal support in CLEO's Family Law resource Separation and Divorce: Spousal Support.