Why Do You Have To Pay More Than Just Child Support For Your Kids in Your Separation or Divorce?
If I’m not mistaken, you’re the kind of person who wants to do the best for your children.
This means that sometimes you have to pay more than just child support to help raise and support your children.
I will discuss these extra expenses, called section 7 expenses, in this video.
Hi, my name is Thomas O’Malley. I’m an experienced family lawyer in Durham Region and the GTA.
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Child support is the regular monthly amount of support that you pay for your children when your children live with the other parent most of the time or you have your children for a good portion of the time so that you probably then pay a lower amount rather than the full amount of child support.
What does child support cover? Child support covers the cost of food, clothing and a residence for your children.
However, there are certain expenses for your children that child support does not cover.
These expenses, called section 7 or extraordinary expenses, include daycare costs or child care fees, college or university expenses, sports activities for your kids, and health costs not covered that your insurance does not cover.
Child support does not cover these section 7 or extraordinary expenses.
If you are the parent asking for these extra costs to be covered, you have to show that these expenses are reasonable. How does the family court determine whether these expenses are reasonable?
The family court will examine a number of factors to determine whether a particular expense is reasonable in your situation.
The court will look at the amount of your income, your spouse’s income, and the amount of child support already paid in your case.
The court will review how many different sports and other extracurricular activities that you children are involved with.
The court will also review the total cost of these other programs and proposed expenses and whether these expenses were part of your family’s spending pattern before you were separated.
For example, if your children do not go to private school before the separation, that might not be a reasonable expense now.
Ultimately, the family court judge would decide whether a section expense is reasonable based on the factors that I have just outlined.
The court will in many cases find that a certain expense is reasonable and necessary if your child shows a special talent or skill. For example, if your child is a very good hockey player, the court could easily find that expenses related to hockey camp and out-of-town hockey tournaments are reasonable in these circumstances.
Make sure you put a clause in your separation agreement or court settlement that you and your spouse must agree on any section 7 expenses before such costs are actually incurred.
Section 7 expenses are paid on a proportionate-to-income basis to reflect the difference in the parents’ incomes. For example, if one spouse earns $120,000 a year and the other spouse earns $75,000 a year, the higher-earning spouse in this example would pay 62.5% of these section 7 expenses and the lower-earning spouse would pay 37.5% of these expenses.
If you have any questions about your separation, divorce or family law case and you would like our help, feel free to contact on my Facebook law office page, that’s O’Malley Family Law, or call me at 905-434-8837 and I’ll point in you in the right direction.
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