Can Your Ex-Spouse Ask for Child Support, Even If You Separation Agreement Says No Child Support Will be Paid?

Writing a cheque for child support

Unfortunately, while you can opt out of spousal support in an agreement, it is extremely difficult to opt out of child support (the agreement has to benefit the child more than the Child Support Guidelines to opt out of them.) Even then, child support is reviewable every year and can be changed on any change of circumstances. Also, child support is based on where a child lives, not on who has custody. If your child spends more than 40% of her time with your ex-spouse,  you will be liable for child support.  You may also be liable for child support if your child spends close to an equal amount of time with each parent, but you earn more. You may want to take your agreement to a family lawyer to see if it is possible that your agreement says what is necessary to get you of of child support, but unless you are providing for your daughter in a way that provides more for her than the Child Support Guidelines, that is unlikely. For more on child support see this article

Also, note that your ex can also seek child and spousal support from her common law husband (For an example, see this post.)  Note your ex having a new partner does not affect what you pay for child support as the biological father. 

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Of course, if you have child that is living with you, or both parents, you may be entitled to some support as well - even if that child is over 18 years old. See this article.   If your other child  still shares time between both of you and your wife is, or could, be collecting spousal support from her common-law partner that, combined with her other income, is more that your income, she could owe you some child support. On the plus side, you should be safe from your ex seeking any spousal support from you now because of what the agreement says. For more on spousal support see this post on whether someone can ask for spousal support, and this post on the amount of spousal support.  For more information on all these family law issues, including an entire chapter on changing agreements or orders, and many other family law matters, you should get a copy of this $25 easy-to-understand book on the basics of Ontario Family Law

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Support issues can be tricky.  To make sure the right about of support is being paid in your circumstances, it really is worth it to see an excellent family law lawyer with lots of expertise in tough child support and spousal support cases.  You can contact John Schuman using the form below, or the phone number above. You can also use the form below to comment on this page.  Feel free to share this page on your social network using the buttons at the bottom.

© John P. Schuman 2014