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Family law: Valid reasons for modification of child support

As life progresses after a separation or divorce, Ontario parents who are responsible for paying child support may find it necessary to end or change that obligation. Under family law, changes to court-ordered child support are allowed. Although an income change is not typically regarded as legal grounds for such an adjustment, several other reasons may justify a motion for child support modification.

If the paying parent becomes unemployed, he or she may no longer be able to pay child support. However, if that parent's income grows significantly, the other parent may petition the court for a higher amount of support. This may also be a valid request if the child has additional expenses for special or extraordinary needs.

Other circumstances in which there may be grounds for modification requests include the child completing school, obtaining full-time employment and moving out of the parental home -- meaning the child has become self-sufficient. The same will apply if the child goes to live with the paying parent or another person. When a child gets married, the child support will also need to be suspended.

Parents who were never married and had a child support agreement among themselves are free to change it. Those who have court-ordered child support orders will need the approval of the family court to change it. If both parties consent, the court will authorize it, but if one party disagrees, it might be necessary to secure the services of an experienced Ontario family law lawyer to bring the petition to the court.

Source:, "How do I bring a motion to change child support?", Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018

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