Each parent is legally required to financially support their dependent children. Support is based on the payor’s gross annual income and parenting time. The amounts are calculated according to the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The payment is intended to meet the children’s essential needs. Additional expenses such as health care, post secondary education and extracurricular activities are typically shared between the parents proportionate to their combined incomes.
The purpose of spousal support is to compensate for the fact that disparities in income are often the result of decisions made during the marriage such that one spouses’ income and earning potential surpassed the others’. Upon the dissolution of a marriage the lower income earner should not be disadvantage by these decisions. The intention is that both spouses are capable of maintaining a similar standard of living with the understanding that the recipient will work towards financial independence. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) are referred to as the basis for negotiations.