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What documents are needed to get or change a child support order?

Many divorcing or separating parents need help making child support arrangements. The Child Support Guidelines provide parents with a way to calculate the appropriate support amount based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children to be supported. To make or change an order for child support, the court will need certain income-related documents from one or both parents.

In Ontario, if the requested support amount does not vary from the basic amount established by the Child Support Guidelines, then only the paying parent must provide tax and income documents to the court. However, if the receiving parent is requesting child support that covers special expenses in addition to the basic amount, then the recipient parent will also need to provide documentation of personal income, along with a list of the special expenses.

Here are the documents that one or both parents will need to provide to the court:

  • Tax returns and other tax-related documents for the last three years
  • Each Notice of Assessment for the last three years
  • A current statement of earnings
  • A current statement of income from any sources such as a pension, workers’ compensation, disability benefits, social assistance or employment insurance
  • If the recipient or payor received income from a trust, a copy of the trust agreement, along with the trust’s three latest financial statements

Additional documents may be required for parents who are self-employed, control a corporation or are part of a business partnership. More on those additional documents can be found here.

Getting or changing a child support order requires careful preparation. At every step of the process, it is important to have legal counsel. A lawyer can also gather and present the necessary documentation, as well as represent you and protect your rights in court.

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