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What does the term “Undue Hardship” mean in payment of support amounts?

A Court in Ontario has the discretion to award an amount different from the Child Support Guideline Table amount if the Court finds that a parent or child would otherwise suffer undue hardship. The Guideline identifies a non-exclusive list of circumstances that may cause undue hardship which include a parent with unusually high access costs, a parent with a legal duty to support any other person, and a parent with unusually high debts reasonably incurred to support the family before the separation or to earn a living. Before exercising its discretion to depart from the Table amount, the Court must make a finding of undue hardship, and the applicant must demonstrate that his or her household would otherwise have a lower standard of living than the other parent’s household.

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