Child support — how much does it cost to raise a child in Canada
Campaign 2000 is a national coalition that aims to work toward ending and preventing child poverty countrywide. In a recent report, the coalition stated that no official estimates exist in Ontario — in fact, no such figures are available in the entire country — that actually tells how much it costs to raise a child. While authorities profess concern for the financial well-being of children, there are no guidelines for the accurate calculation of things like child support and foster care. Also, family planning without such guidelines is hard for those who want to make sure they can afford a child before starting a family.
What triggered the report was a 2013 article that stated it was possible to raise a child in Canada on $3,000 to $4,500 per year. This followed another source’s estimate in 2011 that said the average annual cost — all-inclusive — was $12,824. The more recent — and significantly lower — assessment apparently failed to include the costs related to child care and shelter, which are necessities for all children.
When economists calculate these estimations, it is important to specify whether it is based on parents’ actual expenses, what they want to spend on their children or how much money they need to take proper care of a child. A realistic estimate of the amounts required to raise children in different provinces or territories must include the cost of the full basket of expenses at various stages of a child’s life — not excluding those related to specific cultural or ethnic practices. Regular reviews and updates will keep the estimates current.
Without a recognised assessment included in the guidelines for the calculation of child support, it would be impossible for Canada parents to establish whether they will be able to care for their children if they file for divorce. The best manner in which to overcome this problem might be to seek the advice of an experienced family law lawyer. A professional legal advisor in Ontario can explain the factors that the court considers when it calculates child support and advise on the way to proceed.