Divorces in Canada
8. How is the amount of child support calculated?
The amount of child support depends on the annual salary of the parent who is obliged to pay child support and the number of children in the custodial parent’s care. For example, if the annual salary is $50,000 (this was the average wage in Canada in 2015), the amount of monthly child support is as follows: for one child - $450, for two children - $743 and for three children - $959.
Source: Child Support Table Look-up www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/look-rech.asp.
9. What kind of spousal support is there in Canada?
In Canada, there is a law according to which the more affluent member of the family after divorce should help the one with less means. Also, working adult children are often obligated to provide necessities such as food, clothing, housing, and medical attention for their low-income parents. This can be established by mutual agreement or through the courts.
Source: Spousal Support www.cleo.on.ca/en/publications/spousalsupport.
9. What can be done if someone refuses to pay support payments?
In the case that someone refuses to pay support payments, the custodial person should contact the Family Responsibility Office (www.mcss.gov.on.ca). This is an organization that enforces court-ordered support responsibilities. Unfortunately, in Canada, such cases are not rare. During the year up to 400,000 people seek help in collecting support payments. The FRO can take support payments from the payer's salary or bank account, and can even collect them from a person working abroad if Canada has an agreement with that country.
Canada has an agreement on support orders with 31 countries. If a person who owes support payments hides his address, the FRO has the ability to find it. There are various methods which are used to apply pressure on those who fail to pay support payments, such as driver's licence suspensions, bans on taking out loans, etc. To use the Family Responsibility Office’s services you must submit the appropriate application.
Source: Family Responsibility Office https://www.ontario.ca/page/paying-and-receiving-child-and-spousal-support.
10. What is a separation?
If the spouses do not apply for divorce, but are officially not living together, it is called a separation. During separation, they are still considered to be a married couple and are subject to all the rules of family law in Canada. Separation does not necessarily lead to divorce. Spouses can live alone or with another person as long as they want, but they are still considered a married couple. Divorce is issued only if one of them has officially applied for divorce. However, if the separation will be the reason for the divorce, the period of separation has to be one year or more.
11. What is a separation agreement?
This is an agreement that sets out the terms of separation, including:
•who will stay in the marital home,
•how your children will be cared for and where they will live,
•financial support, and
•how property and savings will be divided.
The best way to make sure of these things is to have your lawyer read the agreement and give you advice. Making such an agreement is not compulsory. Also, if both partners agree on the content of the agreement, they do not need to go to court. The agreement has to be signed by both parties and confirmed by witnesses. Once you sign a separation agreement, you will both have to follow it unless you both agree to change it. If the partners cannot agree on the conditions of the agreement, they can ask a lawyer or a mediator, or go to court.
12. Can a divorce impact my immigration status?
In Canada, divorce generally does not affect immigration status. After a divorce, if you already have permanent resident status or citizenship, that status remains, except if in the process of your divorce it is discovered that you provided false data in order to obtain that status. If a woman has no status in Canada, for example, and the husband who sponsored her to Canada divorced her before she could get permanent resident status, she must immediately contact a lawyer. As for refugees, if you have refugee status, it remains after the divorce. But if your application for refugee status is still in process, divorce can affect your application, so immediately contact a lawyer. The sponsor is obliged to help the person they have sponsored financially for three years following the divorce. Also, if the sponsored person files for social assistance, the sponsor is obliged to cover the associated costs to the government.
Source: Family Law Issues for Immigrant, Refugee and Non-Status Women https://onefamilylaw.ca/family-law-resources/family-law-issues-immigrant-refugee-non-status-women.
13. Where can I find sources of additional information about divorce in Canada?
Family law resources in Ontario www.cleo.on.ca/sites/default/files/book_pdfs/familyresource.pdf.
14. Are there any Canadian information about divorce in other languages?
There is information in 13 languages: https://onefamilylaw.ca.