FAMILY LAW

Special Expenses (“Section 7” Expenses)

Under certain circumstances, the courts may add an amount to the basic amount of child support for various special or extraordinary expenses. The types of expenses that can be claimed include:
  • - child care expenses that the primary caregiver has because of work, school, training, illness or disability
  • - health-related expenses over $100 per year above any insurance coverage, including, medicine, dental care, glasses
  • - extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school or other educational programs the child needs
  • - post-secondary education expenses
  • - extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities
  Certain questions that the court may consider include:
  • - Whether the expense is necessary for the child?
  • - Whether the expense is reasonable, bearing in mind the parents’ financial means, and how the family spent money prior to separation?
  When determining the amount of child support to order, the court will consider both parents incomes, as well as any financial assistance that the primary caregiver receives for the expense, for example, a tax deduction for child care expenses. Generally, the parents will share special expenses according to their respective income. The amount that the paying parent must provide is usually in proportion to each parent’s income. However, payments will always be above a certain minimum level. For instance, if the paying parent earns an income that is twice that of the receiving parent, and the expense is 75 dollars a month, the paying parent will pay an extra 50 dollars in support. Furthermore, if the primary caregiver has little or no source of income, then the paying parent may pay even more, up to a total of 75 dollars in this case. If the precise amount of a special expense is unknown, then the court may estimate an amount.