The process of separation and divorce can be overwhelming and confusing. At, we always encourage our clients to prioritize the needs of their children above all else. This is the same attitude taken by the family courts. In matters of custody and support, the court will opt for whichever arrangement holds the most benefit and least disruption of the status quo for the children. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding children and divorce:

My spouse and I can’t agree on arrangements for our children. Can I still get divorced?

In many cases, no. If reasonable arrangements have not been made for the children, it is a barrier to divorce, meaning the court may refuse to issue a divorce order until they are satisfied with the arrangements.

Remember, you must determine custody and access arrangements before you can determine child support. Child support is affected by the percentage of time each parent has the children and the lifestyle to which the children are accustomed.

My spouse and I want to separate but not divorce. How do I determine support payments?

In situations where the federal Divorce Act does not apply, look to your provincial Family Law Act. The FLA also offers child support guidelines, which are generally the same as the federal support guidelines, though in some cases the provisions other than the tables are slightly different.

I need child support and my divorce is nowhere near being settled. What can I do?

You can bring an application for corollary relief. In order to bring an application, you must answer YES to the following questions:

  • Do you have a child?
  • Is this a child of the marriage?
  • Under/Over the age of majority and still dependent?
  • Does the court have jurisdiction to make the order you’re seeking?

For more information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters, please visit

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