When do child support payments in Ontario end?

By heather - Last updated: Sunday, July 25, 2010 - Save & Share - 10 Comments

In many divorce cases involving a minor child, the judge renders a decision on the issues of both custody and support and typically orders that the non-custodial parent pay child support to the custodial parent for the child until a termination date. In Canada, child support payments end once the child is no longer deemed a “dependent” under the law.

For most situations, a child will be entitled to child support until 18 years of age. However, in many cases the “until-18 rule” will not apply and the child may be entitled to support beyond the “age of majority”. For instance, a child over 18 years of age is still entitled to child support if the child is a full-time student in school, even if the child has a part-time job while attending school.  The child support obligations do not end because the law assumes that full-time students are still dependents and are unable to support themselves. Along with child support, the non-custodial parent may also have an obligation to contribute to the child’s special expenses, which would include the costs associated with attending school, such as tuition.

Child support is governed by federal law and does not change from province to province, although the amounts may differ based on the cost of living for the area. In cases when the child support termination date is not specified in the support order, the support payments may continue until the child has obtained a post-secondary degree or as long as the child is in school full-time. It is also not unheard of, albeit rare, for child support to be paid even while the child completes further schooling, including a graduate degree, particularly if the educational program is required in order for the child to pursue his or her desired occupation.

To terminate the payor’s child support obligations, the payor must file a motion to change a final order with the court and have the court issue a new order ending the support payments. For payments enforced by the Family Responsibility Office, the payor can contact the government agency to inform the office of the change in circumstances and obtain consent from the support recipient to terminate the payments. 

 


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10 Responses to “When do child support payments in Ontario end?”

Comment from shane
Time November 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm

If the recieving spouse moves in with another man and they are common law, do I still have to pay child support?

Comment from candice
Time November 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

If your child support order does not specify the termination of your child support payments, the payments are to continue until the child is no longer deemed a “dependent” under the law.

Comment from Andrew Sweeny
Time November 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Is my 22 year old daughter who is still taking courses and receiving OSAP ( not fully funded) has a baby and keeps it (due this month). Am I still required to pay support she lives with my ex-wife currently. She is expected to contribute to the household buy food, pay for clothing etc but does not pay rent. Does she not become a parent with dependants and cease being a dependant/

Comment from Woodrat
Time November 25, 2010 at 9:54 pm

My son turned 18 in 2008 and finished high school. He never went to college or university after that and works part time and lives with his mother.

Would I stand a chance trying to get my support ended?

How do I go about filing the papers? I have the forms 13, 15, and 15A. Do I just walk into the courthouse and say I would like to end my child support?

Thanks for your time. :)

Comment from Question
Time November 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

If the child drops out of school and refuses to go back are support payments still required? The child is nearly 18 in this case and refuses to stay in school.

Thank you

Comment from candice
Time December 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

For direction on when your child support obligations will end, you must refer to any prior court orders and/or any written agreements between yourself and the support recipient for the terms and conditions of support payable in your specific situation.

If you do not have a court order or a written agreement, typically, child support must be paid as long as a child remains dependent. A dependent child is any child under the age of 18, unless the child is married or living independently.

Child support may continue after a child turns 18 years of age if the child is unable to be self-supporting because of a disability or illness, or is attending a school on a full-time basis.

Schedule a consultation with one of our family law lawyers in order for us to provide you with advice based on your specific set of circumstances.

We look forward to meeting with you.

Comment from candice
Time December 4, 2010 at 10:31 am

Child support must be paid as long as a child remains dependent. A dependent child is any child under the age of 18, unless that child is married or living independently. Child support might also continue for a child after the age of 18 if the chidl has a disability or illness, or is attending school on a full-time basis.

The law requires that a child be attending school up to age 18 or until graduation, however there are certain circumstances where a child may not be required to attend school, due to either physical or mental disability, temporary suspension, or other reasons outside of the child’s control.

Due to the specificity of your inquiry, we require further details in order to advise you accordingly. Schedule a consultation with one of our family law lawyers in order for us to assist you with your family law matter.

Comment from candice
Time December 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

For direction on when your child support obligations will end you must refer to any prior court orders and/or any written agreements between yourself and the support recipient as to the terms and conditions of support payable in your specific situation.

If you do not have a court order or a written agreement, typically, child support may continue after a child turns 18 years of age if the child is unable to be self-supporting because he or she has a disability or illness, or attends school on a full-time basis.

To make any changes to a final court order, you must file a Motion to Change with the court of competent jurisdiction to vary the order if there has been a material change in circumstances.

Comment from Chris
Time February 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I would like to ask the court to stop paying child support to my adult daughter who lives in Poland ,this year she ends 25 years. Daughter is already an adult should complete a science, to work and be independent. Daughter lives away from home mother in another city. I am not sure what she is doing becuse I do not have contact with her. Do I have to still pay support or can I file
a Montion to end support payment even though she is part time job and part time student?
I pay a Support in Canada to FRO Toronto (sentence in Poland 2003) and since 2005 in Canada.
I have notice of registration of final order from Ontario Court of Justice at Sheppard Avenue in Toronto (from 2005).
This order is interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.2002.
Please tell me what documents (forms 14 or 15 or something else), I fill out and submit in which court? Canadian or Polish?
Thank you

Comment from Dan
Time February 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

If my son goes away to University in a 5 year co-op program and I am paying my share of the costs, do I still have to pay the mother child support payments? He essentially will no longer live at home for 5 years. Otherwise, I am paying for two places for him to live.

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