Child support is the child's right to financial support. Parents have a legal duty to support their children who are:

  • under the age of majority, which is 19 years of age in Nova Scotia; or
  • 19 or over, but still dependent on their parent(s) for a reason such as illness, disability, or school.

The Divorce Act (federal law) and the Nova Scotia Parenting and Support Act (provincial law) require parents to pay basic child support, called the 'table amount' of child support.  The table amount of child support helps pay for basic expenses such as food, clothing, shelter and basic activities. 

Some children may have additional expenses, such as increased costs for childcare, medical care, some post-secondary or education expenses, and qualifying extracurricular activities.  These are called special or extraordinary expenses, or 'section 7' expenses.  They are in addition to the basic table amount of child support.  When appropriate, special or extraordinary expenses are shared by both parents, in proportion to their respective incomes (gross income—before taxes and deductions).

Last reviewed: July 2021
Reviewed for legal accuracy by: Lawyer Shelley Hounsell-Gray, QC

Thank you to Justice Canada for funding to help update our legal information on divorce.