Can Separated/Divorced Parents Agree the Child Support Guidelines are Wrong?

The Child Support Guidelines set how much money has to be paid between separated or divorced parents to help with the costs of raising the children. The exact support figures required by the Child Support Guidelines can come as a surprise to some parents. Others don’t like the strict rules for how child support is paid, or that there is no restriction on how a parent can use child support money. After separating some parents want child support to work differently than set out by the Guidelines.

The reality is that the Child Support Guidelines are mandatory in most cases. Section 11(1)(b) of the Divorce Act, even prohibits judges from granting a divorce until child support is being paid that reflects the Child Support Guidelines. Getting around the Child Support Guidelines is very difficult as courts may ignore any agreement that is not in accordance with the Guidelines. This can even create dangerous situations that backfire, such as when a spouse can be ordered to pay child support twice after making a lump sum child support payment. 

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To contact John Schuman, Certified Specialist in Family Law, call 416-446-5847, email him at, or use the form on this page.

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