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When it comes to the Canada Child Tax Benefit, which separated parent is entitled to it?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is responsible for administering the Canada Child Tax Benefit. The benefit is a tax-free monthly payment for children under the age of 18 and is intended to help families with the cost of raising their children.

In situations involving separated or divorced parents, CRA pays the benefit to the parent who resides with the child and who primarily fulfils the responsibility for the care and the upbringing of the child. According to CRA, this is generally the mother and, therefore in situations of separation or divorce, CRA presumes the mother to be entitled to the benefit.

In cases where both parents claim the benefit, CRA will conduct a review to determine which parent qualifies for the benefit. If it is determined that the child resides with both parents, CRA will pay one parent for 6 months and then rotate the payments to the other parent for the next 6 months.

Details of this and further information can be obtained at the CRA website at or by calling toll free 1-800-387-1193.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.