About child support

Child support is money that a parent pays to help support his or her child financially after a separation or divorce.

Child support is generally paid to the other parent, not to the child. Judges can order a parent to pay support directly to a child over the age of majority, but they only do so in certain cases. Judges consider the family's situation to determine the appropriate arrangements.

Sometimes, one parent will decide that he or she does not want child support from the other parent. Before making a decision, it is important to remember that your child is entitled to support by law.

Both you and the other parent have a duty to support your children. Children of intact families benefit from both parents' incomes. That should not change if their parents separate or divorce. This is the guiding principle of Canada's child support laws.

You and the other parent may set up your own child support agreement out of court. Or you can ask a judge to determine an amount. It will likely be best if you can reach an agreement out of court. Going to court can be expensive, usually takes a long time, and may increase stress in your family. Family justice services such as mediation may help you and the other parent reach an agreement.

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