As stated within the legislation, the objectives of the Child Support Guidelines are:
- To establish a fair standard of support for children that ensures that they continue to benefit from the financial means of both parents after separation;
- To reduce conflict and tension between parents by making the calculation of child support orders more objective;
- To improve the efficiency of the legal process by giving courts and parents guidance in setting the levels of child support orders and encouraging settlement; and
- To ensure consistent treatment of parents and children who are in similar circumstances.
As such, the factors considered when determining the amount of child support are dependent upon:
- The parenting schedule (or residency arrangements of the children);
- The number of children; and
- The income of the party (or both parties where there is a shared parenting schedule).
In addition to the Table Amount of child support, parents may be responsible for contributing towards a child’s special and/or extraordinary expense. That is, a parent may be obligated to contribute towards a child’s:
- Child care expenses as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment;
- The portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- Health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually;
- Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
- Expenses for post-secondary education; and
- Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities (i.e. hockey, dance, tutoring, music lessons, etc.)
The child’s special and/or extraordinary expense is typically shared between parents on a pro-rata basis. That is, parent share the amount of a child’s special and/or extraordinary expenses in proportion to their incomes.