Child support and section 7 expenses

I have 2 children that I see every other weekend and I pay child support and half of child care. I am also requested to pay half of all other activities that they are enrolled in as well as half of school registration fees, supply costs and monthly pre-school payments. I am finding it difficult to come up with all this money every month and some people are telling me that the other parent is abusing the system. I am not eligible for any tax credits or child benefits, the other parent receives all this. <p>Can you help me understand what constitutes a section 7 expense and what should be included as child support. &nbsp;</p>


Asked over 2 years ago in Calgary, Alberta
Categories: Family Law

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Waldemar A Igras

Answer by Waldemar A Igras

VerifiedAlberta lawyer


You have not provided enough information, especially with respect to your relative incomes.  Generally speaking legitimate section 7 expenses are shared proportionately to your incomes.  If for example you earn $66,666.66 and she earns $33,333.33 you would be responsible for 66.6% of the expenses.  What
constitutes a section 7 expense is guided by the section of the Child Support Guidelines which I enclose below.   The expense must be extraordinary and reasonable in relation to the income of the parties.  Generally speaking school registration fees and school supplies are not considered section 7 expenses whereas child care (after subsidy and tax benefit) which enable a parent to work or go to school and uninsured health and dental expenses are considered section 7 expenses.   
 
Special or extraordinary expenses


7. (1) In a child support order the court may, on either spouse’s request, provide for an amount
to cover all or any portion of the following expenses, which expenses may be
estimated, taking into account the necessity of the expense in relation to the
child’s best interests and the reasonableness of the expense in relation to the
means of the spouses and those of the child and to the family’s spending
pattern prior to the separation:

(a) child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability
or education or training for employment;

(b) that portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;

(c) health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually, including
orthodontic treatment, professional counselling provided by a psychologist,
social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational
therapy, speech therapy and prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and
contact lenses;
(d) extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational
programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
(e) expenses for post-secondary education; and
(f) extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.
      
Definition of “extraordinary expenses”

(1.1)
For the purposes of paragraphs (1)(d) and (f), the
term “extraordinary expenses” means
(a) expenses that exceed those that the spouse requesting an amount for the extraordinary expenses can
reasonably cover, taking into account that spouse’s income and the amount that
the spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has
determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court
has otherwise determined is appropriate; or

(b) where paragraph (a) is not applicable, expenses that the court considers are extraordinary taking into account
(i) the amount of the expense in relation to the income of the spouse requesting the amount,
including the amount that the spouse would receive under the applicable table
or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the
amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate,
(ii) the nature and number of the educational programs and extracurricular activities,
(iii) any special needs and talents of the child or children,
(iv) the overall cost of the programs and activities, and
(v) any other similar factor that the court considers relevant.
      
Sharing of expense

(2) The guiding principle in determining the amount of an expense referred to in
subsection (1) is that the expense is shared by the spouses in proportion to
their respective incomes after deducting from the expense, the contribution, if
any, from the child.
  
Subsidies, tax deductions, etc.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), in determining the amount of an expense referred to
in subsection (1), the court must take into account any subsidies, benefits or
income tax deductions or credits relating to the expense, and any eligibility
to claim a subsidy, benefit or income tax deduction or credit relating to the
expense.
    
Universal child care benefit

(4) In determining the amount of an expense referred to in subsection (1), the court
shall not take into account any universal child care benefit or any eligibility
to claim that benefit.
 
WALDEMAR A. IGRAS
Barrister & Solicitor
RCIM LLP, Calgary Divorce Lawyers & Mediators
Direct: (403) 606-8328 E-Mail: wigras@rcimfamilylaw.com
Website: www.rcimfamilylaw.com

Posted over 2 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Waldemar A Igras, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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