Children have a legal right to get financial support from their parents. At the time when parents get divorced, the matter of paying child support arises. Generally, at that time, parents decide over the amount of child support.
Parents can also ask the court to determine the amount, and in that case, the court will use the guidelines for determining the amount of payment.
Lots of things are associated with child support. But in this writing, we will mainly focus on if you can’t pay the child support what will be the consequences. And precisely, we will try to answer the query of whether you will go to jail for not paying child support or not?
How is Child Support Calculated in Canada?
Let’s first know how child support is calculated in Canada. For most of the cases, the amount is calculated by following the government’s child support guidelines. According to those guidelines, child support is made up of-
- Table amount ( a basic monthly amount)
- Special or extraordinary expenses ( an amount for other costs)
For all province and territory, the child support guidelines have a child support table. For covering expenses such as- clothes, foods, etc., the chart demonstrates the basic monthly amount, and that basic amount is called the table amount.
The table amount is based on two things. One is the gross annual income of the payor parent, and another is the number of children they have to support.
For different provinces and territories, the child support amount is different. In the case where both parents live in Ontario, the Ontario table applies. Alternatively, if the payer parents live in some other province, then the table of that province will be applied. But if the payer parent lives in another country than Canada and the other parent in Ontario, then the Ontario table will be applied.
Special or Extraordinary Expenses
Besides the table amount, the parents might also have to pay some other expenses according to child support guidelines. Those additional expenses are known as unusual or extraordinary expenses. Let’s have a look at some special or exceptional costs-
- Child care fees, such as- daycare fees
- Child’s health expenses, such as- eyeglasses, hearing aids, counseling, etc
- Part of medical and dental insurance premiums
- Expenses for post-secondary education
- Reasonable and extraordinary expenditures for fulfilling the child’s specific education needs, for example- tutor fees
- Reasonable and extraordinary expenses for the child’s extracurricular activities
When a payment is both reasonable and necessary, it is a special or extraordinary expense. Here, fair means parents can afford it and significant, which will work best for the child’s interest.
For most of the cases, parents pay for unusual expenses based on how much they earn. If both parent’s income is approximately the same, they divide it equally, and if the child pays some of their costs, then the amount is subtracted before the parents divide the expenditures.
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Child support in Canada?
If you are ordered by law to pay child support in Canada and don’t want to face serious consequences, you should pay for it. Other than the federal, provincial, and territorial governments could use several measures for securing the payments.
In Canada non-payment of child support can have some severe consequences such as-
- For past unpaid amount adornment of wages
- Seizure of federal payments like- income tax refunds
- Suspension of passport
- Revocation of driver’s license
- Seizure of bank accounts or other assets
- For tarnishing your credit rating report to non-payment to credit, agencies can also be done, etc.
These kinds of enforcement are only taken for parents who have missed at least three payments. If you fail to return a suspended passport on time, it can result in fine or sent you to jail for maybe six months.
If you are in debt and for that reason unable to pay the child support, then there are some options that you can do. Let’s now discuss those.
Reducing Child Support Payment
So, if you are in debt and for this reason unable to pay child support, then there are ways to reduce it. The reduction can be made outside of court by mutual agreement of both parents.
If the payment is a court order, then the new agreement is still needed to be filled with the court. If the deal cannot be accomplished, then the payer can apply a petition to the court for a reduction mentioning “undue hardship’.
Some reasons for undue hardship contains-
- High debt from supporting the family before the separation
- Significantly high cost coupled with visiting the child
- Any legal duty to assist another person or child from another marriage
- Any legal duty to support a disabled person who cannot help themselves
Debt Consolidation Loans and Programs
If you want to avoid this court system for reduction, then there is another option for you, which is debt consolidation. This is a process where two or more debts will combine in one payment.
Two debt consolidation options are available. One is a debt loan, and another one is the debt program.
A debt consolidation loan allows you to take a loan for paying all your debt by a bank, finance company, or credit union. On the other hand, a debt consolidation program is an arrangement where a certified credit counselor will negotiate with your creditor for plummeting or stopping the interest of your debt.
Which one will work for you depends on your situation.
In Canada, if you don’t pay child support, it can create a tremendous problem for you, and even you can go to jail for this. If you don’t want to face such a horrible situation, then pay the child support or take the necessary stop for assisting you.
Payment of child care support, reducing this, and all these things are quite complicated. So, our recommendation is to try to contact a lawyer who can support you in all these things and able to do all work smoothly with their experience and professional knowledge.