What’s Child Support? Your parents are talking about child support. Learn what it is and what it means for you.


The Basics of Child Support

When your parents separate, they will have lots of things they need to work out and decide. While money is a matter that needs to be addressed, this is NOT something that you need to worry about. In this section we provide some basic information about what child support is, but you do not need to worry about matters involving money. That is for adults to discuss and work out. Child support is money paid by one parent to the other parent to help pay for the daily needs of children in the family. There are rules that help determine how much money is paid. The money is meant to help pay for basic needs such as rent, food, clothing and other living expenses for a child. Your parents are legally required to support you financially. If your parents can’t agree on the amount of child support to pay, then a mediator may be able to help them work out an agreement. If no agreement is reached, then a judge in Family Court will decide. Child support is normally paid until a child reaches the age of majority. In Newfoundland and Labrador, that age is 19. However, child support might be paid longer if the child is attending university or college, or has special needs (physical or mental) that makes the child need a parent’s help past the age of 19.

Examples of Different Types of Child Support

John is 7 years old. He lives one week with his mom, and the next week with his dad. His parents, who make the same amount of money, have him for equal periods of time over a year. In John’s case, neither of his parents pays child support to the other. Instead, they each take care of him and pay for his food, shelter, and clothes while he is with each of them.

But the situation for Amanda is different. She lives one week with her mom, and the next week with her dad. However, her parents do not make the same amount of money. Her dad only works a seasonal job and therefore does not make the same amount of money as her mom. So while Amanda’s parents have her for equal periods of time over a year her dad needs extra support to help pay for her food, shelter, and clothes while she is with him. So, Amanda’s mom pays some child support to her dad.