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Federal Child Support Guidelines (SOR/97-175)

Regulations are current to 2021-10-07 and last amended on 2021-03-01. Previous Versions

Amount of Child Support (continued)

Marginal note:Split parenting time

 If there are two or more children, and each spouse has the majority of parenting time with one or more of those children, the amount of a child support order is the difference between the amount that each spouse would otherwise pay if a child support order were sought against each of the spouses.

Marginal note:Shared parenting time

 If each spouse exercises not less than 40% of parenting time with a child over the course of a year, the amount of the child support order must be determined by taking into account

  • (a) the amounts set out in the applicable tables for each of the spouses;

  • (b) the increased costs of shared parenting time arrangements; and

  • (c) the conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse and of any child for whom support is sought.

Marginal note:Undue hardship

  •  (1) On either spouse’s application, a court may award an amount of child support that is different from the amount determined under any of sections 3 to 5, 8 or 9 if the court finds that the spouse making the request, or a child in respect of whom the request is made, would otherwise suffer undue hardship.

  • Marginal note:Circumstances that may cause undue hardship

    (2) Circumstances that may cause a spouse or child to suffer undue hardship include the following:

    • (a) the spouse has responsibility for an unusually high level of debts reasonably incurred to support the spouses and their children prior to the separation or to earn a living;

    • (b) the spouse has unusually high expenses in relation to exercising parenting time with a child;

    • (c) the spouse has a legal duty under a judgment, order or written separation agreement to support any person;

    • (d) the spouse has a legal duty to support a child, other than a child of the marriage, who is

      • (i) under the age of majority, or

      • (ii) the age of majority or over but is unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to obtain the necessaries of life; and

    • (e) the spouse has a legal duty to support any person who is unable to obtain the necessaries of life due to an illness or disability.

  • Marginal note:Standards of living must be considered

    (3) Despite a determination of undue hardship under subsection (1), an application under that subsection must be denied by the court if it is of the opinion that the household of the spouse who claims undue hardship would, after determining the amount of child support under any of sections 3 to 5, 8 or 9, have a higher standard of living than the household of the other spouse.

  • Marginal note:Standards of living test

    (4) In comparing standards of living for the purpose of subsection (3), the court may use the comparison of household standards of living test set out in Schedule II.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable time

    (5) Where the court awards a different amount of child support under subsection (1), it may specify, in the child support order, a reasonable time for the satisfaction of any obligation arising from circumstances that cause undue hardship and the amount payable at the end of that time.

  • Marginal note:Reasons

    (6) Where the court makes a child support order in a different amount under this section, it must record its reasons for doing so.

Elements of a Child Support Order

Marginal note:Form of payments

 The court may require in a child support order that the amount payable under the order be paid in periodic payments, in a lump sum or in a lump sum and periodic payments.

Marginal note:Security

 The court may require in the child support order that the amount payable under the order be paid or secured, or paid and secured, in the manner specified in the order.

Marginal note:Information to be specified in order

 A child support order must include the following information:

  • (a) the name and birth date of each child to whom the order relates;

  • (b) the income of any spouse whose income is used to determine the amount of the child support order;

  • (c) the amount determined under paragraph 3(1)(a) for the number of children to whom the order relates;

  • (d) the amount determined under paragraph 3(2)(b) for a child the age of majority or over;

  • (e) the particulars of any expense described in subsection 7(1), the child to whom the expense relates, and the amount of the expense or, where that amount cannot be determined, the proportion to be paid in relation to the expense; and

  • (f) the date on which the lump sum or first payment is payable and the day of the month or other time period on which all subsequent payments are to be made.

Variation of Child Support Orders

Marginal note:Circumstances for variation

 For the purposes of subsection 17(4) of the Act, any one of the following constitutes a change of circumstances that gives rise to the making of a variation order in respect of a child support order:

  • (a) in the case where the amount of child support includes a determination made in accordance with the applicable table, any change in circumstances that would result in a different child support order or any provision thereof;

  • (b) in the case where the amount of child support does not include a determination made in accordance with a table, any change in the condition, means, needs or other circumstances of either spouse or of any child who is entitled to support; and

  • (c) in the case of an order made before May 1, 1997, the coming into force of section 15.1 of the Act, enacted by section 2 of chapter 1 of the Statutes of Canada, (1997).

  • SOR/97-563, s. 2
  • SOR/2000-337, s. 2


Marginal note:Determination of annual income

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a spouse’s annual income is determined by the court in accordance with sections 16 to 20.

  • Marginal note:Agreement

    (2) Where both spouses agree in writing on the annual income of a spouse, the court may consider that amount to be the spouse’s income for the purposes of these Guidelines if the court thinks that the amount is reasonable having regard to the income information provided under section 21.

Marginal note:Calculation of annual income

 Subject to sections 17 to 20, a spouse’s annual income is determined using the sources of income set out under the heading “Total income” in the T1 General form issued by the Canada Revenue Agency and is adjusted in accordance with Schedule III.

  • SOR/2000-337, s. 3
  • SOR/2007-59, s. 4

Marginal note:Pattern of income

  •  (1) If the court is of the opinion that the determination of a spouse’s annual income under section 16 would not be the fairest determination of that income, the court may have regard to the spouse’s income over the last three years and determine an amount that is fair and reasonable in light of any pattern of income, fluctuation in income or receipt of a non-recurring amount during those years.

  • Marginal note:Non-recurring losses

    (2) Where a spouse has incurred a non-recurring capital or business investment loss, the court may, if it is of the opinion that the determination of the spouse’s annual income under section 16 would not provide the fairest determination of the annual income, choose not to apply sections 6 and 7 of Schedule III, and adjust the amount of the loss, including related expenses and carrying charges and interest expenses, to arrive at such amount as the court considers appropriate.

  • SOR/2000-337, s. 4

Marginal note:Shareholder, director or officer

  •  (1) Where a spouse is a shareholder, director or officer of a corporation and the court is of the opinion that the amount of the spouse’s annual income as determined under section 16 does not fairly reflect all the money available to the spouse for the payment of child support, the court may consider the situations described in section 17 and determine the spouse’s annual income to include

    • (a) all or part of the pre-tax income of the corporation, and of any corporation that is related to that corporation, for the most recent taxation year; or

    • (b) an amount commensurate with the services that the spouse provides to the corporation, provided that the amount does not exceed the corporation’s pre-tax income.

  • Marginal note:Adjustment to corporation’s pre-tax income

    (2) In determining the pre-tax income of a corporation for the purposes of subsection (1), all amounts paid by the corporation as salaries, wages or management fees, or other payments or benefits, to or on behalf of persons with whom the corporation does not deal at arm’s length must be added to the pre-tax income, unless the spouse establishes that the payments were reasonable in the circumstances.

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