When Does My Child Support Obligation End?

In Ontario, many support payor’s assume that their obligation to pay child support for their child ends when the child turns 18, but in many cases this is not true. 

Under the Family Law Act in Ontario at section 31(1), the support payor may be liable to continue to pay child support if the child is a minor, is enrolled in full-time post-secondary education, or if the child by way of disability or illness is unable to withdraw from parental support. 

What this may mean practically for your family is that if your child chooses to attend a university or college and pursue higher education on a full time basis, you will have to continue to pay child support. With that said, even the term “full time” has been viewed flexibly by the court, and the court may even assess the child’s own ability to fund their education, and the parent’s ability or non-ability to fund their education. Usually, this support will end after the child receives their first diploma or degree. 

If the child is disabled, or sick with a long-term illness, this support may be payable until the child enters long term care, or other related service. 

If your child chooses instead to enter the work force at 18, your child support obligation may terminate at that time.

In these situations, it is best to consult a lawyer to know your rights surrounding either receiving child support for a child past 18, or if you are obligated to continue to pay child support after 18, as it can be very fact dependent on your specific situation. 

At Borden Family Law, our focused area of practice means our clients benefit from our in-depth knowledge. 

To see how we can help you resolve your issue, call us at 905-576-6090 or contact us online.