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What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support in Canada?

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support in Canada Featured Image

Child support and custody come as a priority after the divorce takes place. The reason is that the child suffers the most in divorces. Under Canadian law, parents must comply with the court’s child support order in writing.

But what happens if you don’t pay child support in Canada?

There could be many reasons why some parents avoid paying child support. Depending on their situations, they will face penalties for not paying child support.

We’ve discussed what happens if you don’t pay child support in Canada in the following part.

What Does the Canadian Child Support Law Say?

The purpose of the Canadian Child Support Law is not to reward or punish. It actually aims to ensure that the children of divorced parents are well-provided. So they can get a stable environment for living.

Some people are still unaware of how child support law works. They basically think providing child support means spending time with children. Actually, it’s a duty to fall under a child custody agreement.

The money provided as child support has nothing to do with spending time with children.

Why Do Some Parents Look for Ways How to Avoid Paying Child Support?

Nowadays, most former spouses think about how not to pay child support. They wonder, when can I stop paying child support? Sadly, there are many insidious or suspicious reasons behind this.

A few motives involve why they do so, such as;


Some parent thinks they pay and hence are entitled to spend more time with the children. Since they don’t get it legally, they become reluctant to provide child support. If your former spouse believes so, s/he should present the case to the court.

S/he should get the fact that child support is not a reward system. Paying more or less doesn’t entitle a parent to more or less time with children. So, having control over the fact is baseless.


If you’ve fought with your former spouse, s/he may deny paying child support. This is not legal according to the Canadian child support law. The Canadian Government created the law to protect the right of the children of divorced parents.

So the refusal to not pay child support based on disagreements is not enough grounds. Objection to providing child support is a legal offense. You should report such acts immediately. Elsewise, it could do permanent damage to the children.


A feckless parent may sometime not care to pay for child support. S/he may have issues with alcohol, gambling, drugs, or a new partner. If the parent neglects, it is wise to take professional help.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support in Canada?

Almost 1 million divorces occur every year in Canada, and most of them have a child. Child support becomes a matter of concern after the divorce. The Canadian Government has also prioritized the child support issue.

If you or your former spouse are required by the law to follow a child support order, then so be it. What happens when you don’t comply with a court order? Simple, you have to pay the price.

Undoubtedly, not paying child support is a crime in the sight of Canadian law. So, if you don’t pay child support in Canada, you can have to go to jail for this crime. If you don’t provide child support, you’ll have to face the following penalties.

Wages Deduction

If you avoid paying child support, the court will contact your office. They will order the court to cut the child support amount from your paycheck. Then, the court will transfer the amount to the custodial parent.


In some territories in Canada, the court charges some amount as fines for not paying child support in time. If you don’t pay the child support amount in due time, you’ll have to provide the child support amount with additional fines.

Suspension of License

In almost every territory in Canada, license suspension is a very common penalty. If you don’t pay the child support, the court will suspense any professional license, e.g., driving license. The local agencies in every territory work with child support. They regularly provide the report of child support payments to the motor vehicles division.


Imprisonment is the ultimate punishment for not paying child support amount. The duration of imprisonment varies from case to case. It also depends on the legal system of your province. The court releases from the jail when the parent can manage all remained child support.

Read Also: Can You Go to Jail for Not Paying Child Support?

How is Child Support Payment Calculated in Canada?

According to the Canadian Government’s child support guidelines, child support consists of;

Table Amount

A basic monthly amount is called a table amount. It is based on two things, including the gross annual income of the payer parent. Another one is the number of children they have to provide child support. The amount varies for different territories and provinces.

Special Expenses

Apart from the table amount, the payer parent might have to pay some other expenses. These include;

  • Child’s health expenses
  • Child’s care fees
  • Post-secondary education cost
  • Medical and dental insurance premiums
  • Reasonable expenditures for fulfilling a child’s special education needs
  • Expenses for child’s extracurricular activities


We hope you understand what happens if you don’t pay child support in Canada. If you don’t pay the child support amount, it can create a terrible problem. Hence to avoid such an awful situation, pay the child support amount on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can child support be enforced in Canada?

If the full child support amount is not paid, the court can enforce a support order. Also, if it is in writing, a child support agreement can be enforced.

2. What happens if the father refuses to pay child support?

Refusing to pay the child support amount is a crime. If the father refuses to pay child support, the court may detain him for contempt of court. Also, the court can impose a jail term.

3. Can you go to jail for not paying child support?

Yes, you can go to jail for not providing child support. But, you can get released when you amend the remained child support amount.

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

No, it doesn't affect the amount of child support received from the ex-spouse.

5. When can I stop paying child support in Canada?

You can stop paying child support payments when your child is 18 years. But, there is a condition. Your child may not be independent by this age. You must continue paying the amount till your child become independent.