Obligation of Parents to Pay Child Support

In Canada, children have a legal right to child support. This means that parents or guardians are required to look after their children financially, even in circumstances where one parent or guardian does not see or take care of the children.

When a couple or spouses separate, usually one parent has to give the other parent money to help support the children. This financial assistance is called child support. The parent that the children live with most of the time is entitled to receive child support from the other parent. If the children spend equal or almost equal time (Ex. 50-50% parenting time or 40-60% parenting time) with both parents, the parent with the higher income usually must pay child support.

The monthly payable amount of child support in British Columbia is based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines.

Generally – The amount of monthly payable child support is based on the following four factors:

  • How much the payor parent earns;
  • How many children the parents have to support;
  • How much parenting time each parent has with the children; and
  • Where each parent lives.

Children are entitled to be supported by their parents if:

  • They are under 19 years of age; or
  • They are 19 years or over, but cannot take care of themselves due to an illness, disability, or another reason such as being a full time student in school.

While the Federal Child Support Guidelines serve as an adequate and reliable guide to determine the required amount of payable child support, judges can make orders for a lower amount of payable child support if:

  • The Court agrees with the payor parent’s claim that the amount of support would cause them undue hardship;
  • The payor’s income is over $150,000;
  • The child is 19 years of age or over and not in school full time;
  • One parent makes a claim for special or extraordinary expenses; or
  • The payor is a step-parent.

The following circumstances could also result in a payor parent not having to pay support for children who are under 19 years old:

  • The child gets married;
  • The child chooses to leave their parents’ home and there is no history of family violence or difficult living conditions; or
  • The child does not want a relation with their parents.


Each family, each parent, and each child have specific circumstances which are to be taken into consideration when assessing a claim for child support. It is important that you are aware of your rights when dealing with sensitive family law matters. Contact Solimano Law today to set up a consultation with a family law lawyer.

Disclaimer – The information contained herein is of a general nature. It is not intended to be legal advice and it is not intended to address the exact circumstances of any particular individual or entity. No one should rely on or act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice and without a thorough examination of their particular situation. Please contact our office if you have any questions with respect to the content of this entry, this website, or our Terms and Conditions .