The Department of Justice has created easy-to-use tools to determine basic child support amounts. These tools are based on the official tables in the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
The simplified tables and the Child Support Table Look-up are easier to use than the official tables. However, they only provide general information. Only the official version is a legal document. The table amounts may need to be adjusted if there are special expenses or other circumstances such as undue hardship. The custody and parenting arrangements for children may also affect child support amounts.
The simplified tables may give you slightly different information than the Child Support Table Look-up or official tables. This is because the simplified tables are based on incomes rounded to the nearest $100.
How to use the simplified tables
- Determine the paying parent's income.
- Find the table that matches the province or territory where the paying parent lives and the number of children being supported.
- Find the income that is closest to the paying parent's income.
- Look in the columns to the right of the income to find the child support amount that matches the number of children for whom you are determining child support.
- If the paying parent's income is over $150,000, refer to the chart at the end of the simplified table to find out how much child support should be paid.
The federal tables first came into effect on May 1, 1997. They were updated on May 1, 2006 and again on December 31, 2011, to reflect more current federal, provincial and territorial tax rules.
2011 tables: Use these tables to find a basic child support amount owed from December 31, 2011 onward.
2006 tables (archived): Use these tables to find a basic child support amount owed from May 1, 2006 to December 31, 2011.
To find the right child support amount in the Federal Tables, you need to know the paying parent's annual income. The income for determining child support may be different from the income for determining taxes. You can find more information on how to calculate income in the Step-by-Step Guide. The Guide also has worksheets and instructions that you can use to calculate income.
Income affects the amount of child support to be paid. As a general rule, this would include money from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). However, courts have discretion in some situations. A court may decide that money taken from an RRSP should not count as income when it is just a one-time or rare withdrawal. These matters are decided case by case. You may wish to get advice from a family law lawyer.
You cannot deduct the amount you put into an RRSP from the amount of income used to calculate child support.
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