How to Get Child Support in Canada?

How to Get Child Support in Canada

Child support in Canada is a financial contribution from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent or legal guardian. It ensures children can access resources such as shelter, food, clothing, and education. The amount is determined based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children.

So, how to get child support in Canada? You must understand child support procedures and legal frameworks. In this article, we have shared the purpose of child support, the procedure, the legal framework, and the eligibility criteria. I hope you get an insight and fair and proper child support here.

The Purpose of Child Support

Child support becomes a very important issue after the parents get divorced or separated. The purpose of child support is to ensure the standard of living of the children. It also aims at easing the financial hardship of the parent primarily caring for the child. 

Child support is a commitment to the child’s emotional, physical, and educational needs. The primary purpose of child support is to protect them from financial problems and the divorce system. It guarantees that the children can access the resources for their growth and development even in the event of parental separation or divorce. 

Understanding the Procedure of Child Support in Canada

Child support means the financial assistance provided by the parents for their children’s benefit.

It is a legal obligation that establishes the financial stability and well-being of the children involved. It plays a great role, especially when parents are divorced, separated, or living together. It helps to cover the costs of raising and caring for the child. 

The amount is intended to cover essential expenses such as shelter, food, clothing, and education. The determination of child support follows specific guidelines set out in federal and territorial laws. 

Legal Framework and Guidelines

The federal Divorce Act and provincial family laws govern Canada’s legal framework for child support. It provides a standardized approach to calculating child support. It considers the paying parent’s income, number of children, and extraordinary expenses. 

The legal framework involves the structure and parameters enforced by child support obligations. It is important for custodial and non-custodial parents involved in child support issues. Both federal and provincial laws govern child support. 

Eligibility for Child Support

There are some specific criteria to be eligible for child support in Canada. The eligibility to apply for child support may depend on different factors. Here are the following criteria to apply for child support:

Custodial Parents

Custodial parents are those with whom the child primarily resides. The custodial parent can seek support from the non-custodial parent to contribute to the child’s financial well-being.

Non-Custodial Parents

Non-custodial parents are those who do not have the primary custody of the child. Non-custodial parents are generally obligated to pay child support. 

Legal Guardians

The legal guardians can be eligible to receive child support when the court gives them legal custody. In these cases, the non-custodial parent must provide financial support to the legal guardian.

Extended Family Members

In some cases, extended family members can play a significant role in seeking child support without biological parents. If they have legal custody or guardianship of the child, they may be eligible for child support from the non-custodial parent.

Steps to Apply for Child Support in Canada

You need to follow a proper procedure for child support in Canada. Here are the easy steps:

Gather Necessary Documents

Before applying for child support, gather necessary documents such as the non-custodial parent’s full name, address, employment details, and financial information. 

Contact the Authority

Identify the appropriate authority in your province or territory. Contact the designated agencies like the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) responsible for processing child support applications. 

Fill out the Application Form

Complete the application form provided by the designated agency. Ensure all sections are filled out accurately and comprehensively. The application form is a significant document that is the foundation for assessing child support eligibility.

Provide Accurate Information

Include details about the child’s living arrangements, custody agreements, and relevant financial information. Accurate information can ensure a fair and just assessment of the child support application.

Submit the Application

Once the application form is completed, submit it to the agency. Some provinces may require a filing fee. So, be sure to check the specific requirements in your jurisdiction. 

Application Review and Assessment

The agency will review the submitted application and assess the information provided. This includes verifying the financial details of both parents. This can consider the federal and territorial guidelines and determine the appropriate amount of child support.

Wait for the Agency’s Decision

Wait for the agency’s decision on the child support application. The duration to receive a decision can vary, but agencies strive to process applications on time. 

Seek Legal Advice If Necessary

You should seek legal advice if you encounter challenges during the application process. A legal professional can guide the best action to protect your rights and the child’s well-being.

Enforcing Child Support Orders

The enforcement of child support orders in Canada is very important to ensure that the parent is fulfilling the financial responsibilities of the children. Here are the common child enforcement methods:

  • Wage Garnishment: The court may order the non-custodial parent’s employer to deduct child support payments directly from their wages. 
  • Seizure of Assets: The court may authorize the seizure of the non-custodial parent’s assets to satisfy outstanding child support payments.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: Some provinces have the authority to suspend the driver’s licenses of parents who fail to meet their child support obligations.
  • Passport Restrictions: The court may restrict obtaining or renewing a passport until child support payments are current.
  • Contempt of Court: If a parent consistently fails to comply with a child support order, they may be held in contempt of court. This can lead to fines or imprisonment.


Child support is a popular concept in Canada. This is important to ensure the children’s financial rights even after divorce or separation. Understand the legal procedure of child support in Canada and check if you are eligible for child support in Canada. 

Gather all the necessary documents and follow the steps to get child support in Canada. If you are eligible, you can be optimistic about getting your child support.


Do I need a lawyer to apply for child support?

It is not mandatory to hire a lawyer, but seeking legal advice can be beneficial. A lawyer can guide the child in navigating the legal framework and ensure the child’s best interest.

What if the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support?

The court can apply enforcement mechanisms if the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support. This can include wage garnishment, seizure of assets, suspension of driver’s licenses, and other measures.

How long does the child support process take?

The duration of the child support process can vary based on different factors.  These factors may include the complexity of the case, the willingness of both parties to cooperate, and the backlog of cases in the court system. 

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