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Do Women Pay Child Support?

Women Pay Child Support

Do Women Pay Child Support?

The idea that women do not have to pay child support is a myth. While historically a father would make child support payments for the children, this is no longer the standard. 

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How Does Child Support Work?

Child support is based on two factors: the primary residence of the children and income. The parent that does not have the primary residence of the children must pay child support in an amount in accordance with their income. 

Why Do Men Have to Pay Child Support?

Historically speaking, women would typically be granted custody and primary residence of the children, while fathers would be the breadwinners and be ordered to pay child support. However, parental roles are no longer reliant on gender. Society has evolved so that it is common for fathers to spend more time at home with their children, and mother’s often earning more than fathers. Thus, it is entirely possible that a father has the primary residence of the children, while the mother must pay child support. 

Furthermore, it is often mistaken that the party with the higher income must pay child support. The law is structured so that the parent that does not have primary residence of the child will have to pay child support in an amount in accordance with their income. Thus, even if the father is earning a higher income than the mother, if he has primary residence of the children, he will be receiving child support payments from the mother. However, if the children spend equal (or almost equal) time with both parents, the party with the higher income usually has to pay child support, subject to exceptions. 

If I Pay Child Support, Do I Have to Pay For Anything Else?

Section 7 Expenses

Along with child support, the court may also order payment of Section 7 special and extraordinary expenses. These expenses are paid in addition to child support.

This might include: 

  • Health and dental expenses
  • School and university fees
  • Special needs and talents
  • Extra-curricular activities

Section 7 expenses are typically paid by both parties, whether or not the child primarily resides with them. These costs are apportioned to each party based on their respective incomes. Thus, the mother, even if she is the sole caregiver, will always have to pay Section 7 expenses, should any such costs exist. 

To close, gender and child support are not connected. The law’s purpose is to ensure that the children, and the parent primarily taking care of the children, are financially supported to safeguard the children’s best interests. 

Contact Nussbaum Family Law to book a free consultation with one of our Toronto divorce lawyers.