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When Does Child Support End in Canada?

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Every parent is liable for their child’s upbringing until they become self-dependent. However, with the separation of every parent, we see that there occurs a certain tension and dispute regarding child support.

It thus eventually leads to the question, When does child support end in Canada?

Well, the answer to this question depends on your case.

Generally, by law, a parent is held responsible for taking care of all the needs of every child until they turn 18, with some exceptions. Such as if your child is disabled, continuing his or her studies, suffering from any severe long-term disease, etc.

Want to know in detail? Keep reading with patience to clarify all your doubts.

What is Child Support?

Child support is the financial support that the non-custodial parents pay to the custodial parents for taking care of all the needs of a child.  Generally, this support is fixed by the court based on the best interest of the child.

However, if the parents are in good relationships and mutually agree, they can also provide child support. And then get the agreement signed with the help of a child support lawyer.

This support is entirely for the welfare of the child. As a result, it must be paid regularly in time without any complaints.

Canadian law is also extremely strict regarding this matter. Therefore, if anyone doesn’t want to pay or irregularly pays it, there are severe punishments for these acts.

What Does Child Support Cover in Canada?

Taking care of all the financial needs in both the legal and moral responsibility of every parent. Just because you and your spouse have problems living together doesn’t mean it should affect the child in any way.

After all, they have no hands in your divorce. They deserve the love of both their parents and as a parent, you must try to give them the mental and financial support they need.

Now the question may arise: what kind of things does child support cover?

To simply state, anything needed by a child while growing up till s/he attains the age of maturity falls under child support.

Check out the below checklist that every child support covers in Canada to generate an overall idea:

  • Living expenses, such as house rentals, utility bills, etc.
  • Food and clothing
  • Educational expenditures—school payments, books, stationary, tutors fees, etc
  • Medical fees
  • Pocket money
  • Transportation costs


It is a general estimation of the common things and may consist of many more essential things depending on the child’s needs.

When Does Child Support End in Canada?

As mentioned above, child support usually stops automatically when the child turns 18, the age of maturity, except in some cases. Several factors aid in the entire termination process of child support payments and may extend depending on these factors.

Let’s find out about the leading two special cases in detail so you can relate to your one:

1. Child Disability

If your child is physically, mentally, or in both ways challenged, then in these cases, based on their dependency, paying child support is mandatory.

After all, they cannot take care of their responsibilities all by themselves, regardless of their age. As a parent, it is our first and foremost duty to take care of their needs and give them all the extra care and maintenance they need to live a normal and happy life.

2. Education

As a parent, it is our duty to take care of all the needs of our children and provide them with all the essentials to help them grow as independent adults.

For example, your child is enrolled in a full-time institutional program where you need to pay some extra fees—tutor’s charges, dorm fees, books, and so on. In such cases, it is your legal duty as a parent to pay the child support on time, even if the child’s age crosses 18.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

You have to pay child support within time. However, there are some exceptions where you can avoid paying child support by law. But all those reasons must be valid enough to prove that you are not eligible enough to pay this child support.

For example, if you are financially not well off, may have lost your job, are living a homeless life, etc., it is normal that you cannot pay child support.

Another reason paying child support is not mandatory is if you are both physically and mentally not fit enough to earn it.

Apart from these two scenarios, you must pay child support without showing any sort of negligence. Otherwise, be ready to get punished for not paying child support without any legitimate reasons.

Read Also: How to Apply for Child Support?

How to Stop Child Support Payments When Child Turns 18?

Generally, child support payments stop when the child turns 18 by law, except for some special cases. It doesn’t matter whether they stay together under the same roof or not.

However, to stop your child support payments legally, you must sign a contract under the guidance of an expert lawyer.

Once you appeal, the court will issue a command stating the termination for all the child support payments. After the court sanctions it, the FRO (Family Responsibility Office) will be notified about it for conducting further processing.

In most cases, the termination date of child support is included in the divorce agreement. And with that date, all the financial liabilities come to an end.

Nevertheless, there is no end to the bond between a parent and their child. It is a lifetime bond; hence, if any parents want to take care of their child, then no law can stop them from doing this.

Closing Notes

Child support is the legal right of every child, and no parent should deny or neglect it except for some valid reasons. Therefore, instead of thinking of child support as a burden, think of the betterment of your child’s welfare.

Hopefully, this article has cleared up all your concerns regarding when does child support ends in Canada. Yet, if you have any further queries, then the smarter call is to consult with an experienced lawyer to understand the entire process of child support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many parents tend to have a lot of confusion regarding child support termination. As a result, to solve all their concerns, we have tried our level best to answer the most frequently asked questions.

Have a quick go through the below questions to find your desired answer:

Does child support end at 18 in Saskatchewan?

Yes, child support ends at 18 in Saskatchewan. However, there is a “but” condition here

Any kind of exception in the case of paying child support may vary depending on the various factors. Such as if s/he is a special child, the child is suffering from any long-term illness, admitted to a full-time educational institution, etc.

Does child support end at 18 if the child is in college?

Usually, by law in most of the states, you don’t need to pay any child support after the child reaches the age of 18. It doesn’t matter whether the child is still going to college or has gotten married.

However, as per the law of the age of majority in Saskatchewan, if the child is enrolled in a full-time educational program, in that case, the parents must pay the child support till it is completed.

Is not paying child support a criminal offense in Canada?

Of course. In fact, to your surprise, not paying child support without any valid reasons can land you in jail along with a ransom fine as a special treat. In Canada, children are given the topmost priority in everything, and their rights should always be maintained.

When can I stop paying child support?

You can stop paying child support legally when the child reaches the age of 18 unless there is an exception to it. For instance, the child is still receiving post-secondary education or is a special needs child.

Does child support change if ex-spouse remarries in Canada?

No, there will be no changes in child support in case your ex-spouse remarries in Canada. Nothing can stop you from paying or changing your terms and conditions of child support without any valid reasons, or until the child reaches the age of maturity.

After all, nothing should come between paying child support, and remember, it is the legal right of every child.

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