Child Custody And Child Support Lawyers - Stephen Durbin and Associates

How Lawyers Get Child Custody and Child Support in Toronto

If you have children, your most important concern will likely be how they will be affected by your separation or divorce. During a divorce one of the most significant sources of stress relates to concerns around child custody and access: Who gets custody? How is custody determined? Where will the children live during the separation? What rights do I have as a parent, grandparent, or extended family? What about if I am a non-biological parent in loco parentis, “in the place of a parent”?

In Need of a Child Custody Lawyer?

As one of Toronto’s most trusted family law firms, almost all of our matters at Stephen Durbin and Associates involve child custody and access arrangements. We strive with each client, each family, to bring back value to family law. To do so, we understand that there is a need to comprehend the process, and we are committed to helping every step of the way.

Child Custody Attorney Service - Stephen Durbin and Associates
Child Custody Attorney Service - Stephen Durbin and Associates

In Need of a Child Custody Lawyer?

As one of Toronto’s most trusted family law firms, almost all of our matters at Stephen Durbin and Associates involve child custody and access arrangements. We strive with each client, each family, to bring back value to family law. To do so, we understand that there is a need to comprehend the process, and we are committed to helping every step of the way.

How Does Child Custody Law Work?
What is Access?
How Does Child Custody Law Work? - Stephen Durbin and Associates
How Does Child Custody Law Work? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

To better reflect the responsibilities of a parent or family member, “custody” is now referred to as the “decision-making responsibility” for the children and “access” is the “parenting time” and primary place of residence of the children upon separation or divorce.

Decision-Making Responsibility (formerly custody)

The responsibility of making “significant decisions about a child’s well-being, including … (a) health; (b) education; (c) culture, language, religion and spirituality; and (d) significant extra-curricular activities”.

Decision-making responsibility can be…

Sole: the other parent does not need to be involved when making decisions for the children.

Joint: parents and/or family members share the right to make decisions for the children and must remain involved in same.

Parenting/Contact Time (formerly access)

The time a child spends in the care of a parent or family member, including where the child will live and day-to-day decisions for the child.

This time is often determined by way of a schedule, and can be…

Shared: when a child lives with a parent at least 40% of the time.

Split: when there is more than one child and each parent has more than one child living with them most of the time.

Supervised: when there are safety concerns for the children, another person (either a friend, relative, or professional) will attend parenting/contact time.

Child Custody And Support Decision Making- Stephen Durbin and Associates

Putting Your Children First

Decision-making responsibility (custody) and parenting time (access) of the children should be determined by the best interests of the children, and a number of factors are considered, including each parent’s ability to care for the child; the child’s physical safety, emotional security, and psychological well-being; the child’s relationship to each parent; and the child’s wishes once they are old enough. Generally, it is in the child’s best interests to have contact with both parents, unless there is a serious risk to the child, such as abuse or neglect. Decision-making responsibility (custody) and parenting/contact time (access) can be agreed upon by the parents in a separation agreement or decided by a judge by way of a court order.
Ideally, parents or those in loco parentis can work together and co-operate in deciding their decision-making responsibilities (custody) and parenting schedule (access). However, sometimes this is just not possible and your lawyers need to be understanding of the difficulties and stress you face. The lawyers at Stephen Durbin and Associates are compassionate, sensitive, and committed to protecting your children’s interests and well-being, creating solutions to seemingly unsurmountable problems, improving communication, and bringing you and your family back to normalcy.

How Much is Child Support?
How is it Calculated?

Child support is determined using the Federal Child Support Guidelines, which considers each parent’s gross income, extraordinary expenses, and parenting arrangements.

In Ontario, children have a right to child support. To ensure these rules are followed when determining who should pay support and the amount payable each month, you can reach out to a family law lawyer for help when drafting your separation agreement or you can go to family law court, where a judge will make an interim or final order.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Determine which guidelines apply.

This will depend on where the children live, as it changes by province, territory, and country. Ontario uses the Federal Child Support Guidelines, regardless of whether you are common law or married.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Determine the number of children requiring support.

This includes any dependent children, either under the age of majority (18) or those who have reached the age of majority (18+), and are pursing the first post-secondary education degree, with some exception for second degrees depending on the situation or are not independent due to illness or disability.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Determine the parenting arrangement and schedule.

This refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. When the children live with a parent more than 60% of the time, the parent is entitled to full table support. Where parents have the children living with them for an approximately equal amount of time (more than 40% and less than 60%), child support will be determined based of the difference between the parents’ incomes, with this difference paid to the lower income earner by the higher earner (also known as the “offset” amount).

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Find the right table.

The Federal Child Support Guidelines have different tables depending on the income; the number of children; and the province, territory, or country of residence (for most of our clients, this will be Ontario). The amount of child support indicated in the tables are based partly on provincial, territorial, and national tax rules.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Calculate both parents’ annual incomes.

Full and honest financial disclosure is important when calculating child support as it can greatly influence the amount payable by an individual. Proper financial disclosure can involve, but is not limited to, your most recent statement of earnings (gross income is the total income earned before paying taxes and making other deductions), your corporation’s financial statements (if you are self-employed), or documentation for income received through investments, insurance, or other compensatory payments. Income can vary year to year, and so child support is supposed to be reviewed each year, based on the current income of the parties.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Find the table amount.

Once you have determined the appropriate table based on province, territory, or country of residence of the paying parent (Step 4), you use the number of children requiring support (Step 2) and the parents’ respective incomes (Step 5) to determine the amount of child support payable. The parenting arrangement (Step 3) will then determine whether it is the full amount or the offset amount that is payable.

Estimated Monthly Support Amount
Annual Income 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children
20,000 161 311 360
50,000 461 755 977
80,000 745 1,211 1,583
110,000 989 1594 2078

 

* This sample table is not a legal document and is provided for general reference only.

* The data contained in this table is based on the information provided by the Federal Child Support Guidelines tables for a parent paying child support while living in Ontario beginning December 2011. Before this date, a different child support table applies.

* These resources are available at justice.gc.ca.

* Amounts shown are in CAD.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Determine any Section 7 Special and Extraordinary Expenses.

These are expenses that are above and beyond basic child support and will differ depending on your family, including specialty academic, leisure, arts, sports and child care programs; specialty medical/dental (orthodontic) treatment; and post-secondary education. These expenses are typically shared in proportion to each parent’s income.

How Much Is Child Support ? - Stephen Durbin and Associates

Determine if there is undue hardship.

Sometimes there are circumstances that make it difficult to pay the required amount of child support; support the children based on the amount of child support you receive; and/or your household’s standard of living is lower than the other parent’s household’s standard of living. These situations, when proven, can be compensated.

Child Custody Law (Decision Making Responsibility) with SD&A

So often, clients come to us with agreements that were not properly drafted, meaning their children are not receiving proper support. When separating, you need an experienced, resolution-oriented lawyer who knows the ins and outs of family law and can provide you with the right strategy when it comes to the decision-making responsibility (custody), parenting time (access), and residence of your children. Sometimes, where mediations and arbitrations cannot bring about transparency and clarity, you need lawyers with the right mindset to negotiate or fight in court for your family’s best interests.

At Stephen Durbin and Associates, we hire our lawyers based on their understanding, tenacity, and empathy, and they are ready from day one to prioritize your children and your family’s interests. We work proactively in a collaborative environment to give you highly effective representation tailored to your situation, at the lowest possible cost.

Stephen Durbin and Associates is Toronto’s most trusted in child custody and child support cases. No matter where you or your children may be, Stephen Durbin and Associates offers extensive experience, and is ready to help you overcome the barriers to your child custody and support matters, across the GTA in Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, Markham, Newmarket, and throughout Ontario.

Get in Touch With Our Child Custody
(Decision Making Responsibility) & Support Case Lawyers

Our commitment is to bring a culture of excellence to family law, to our clients, and their families. Stephen Durbin & Associates is the top rated large family law firm in Ontario. We’ve earned this reputation because we do things differently. We do them better.

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