Child Support Guidelines
The Child Support Guidelines set out how much child support is to be paid based on the payor's income. CRA's website has a child support calculator where you can input income information and get the Table amount of support that is to be paid.
Section 7 or Special and Extraordinary Expenses
The way of looking at this topic of “add-ons” to the basic child support is to first look to the legislation. What is produced below is section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines, which is what one reads first. Thereafter, one should look to a process for adjustment, and some comments set out by our firm on this.
The Legislation - Section 7
7. (1) In an order for the support of a child, the court may, on the request of either parent
or spouse or of an applicant under section 33 of the Act, 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 parents or spouses and those of the child and to the
spending pattern of the parents or spouses in respect of the child during cohabitation:
(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, prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and
(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.
O. Reg. 391/97, s. 7 (1); O. Reg. 446/01, s. 2.
Definition, “extraordinary expenses”
(1.1) For the purposes of clauses (1) (d) and (f),
“extraordinary expenses” means
(a) expenses that exceed those that the parent or spouse requesting an amount for the
extraordinary expenses can reasonably cover, taking into account that parent’s or
spouse’s income and the amount that the parent or 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 clause (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 parent or spouse
requesting the amount, including the amount that the parent or 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
(iii) any special needs and talents of the child,
(iv) the overall cost of the programs and activities, and
(v) any other similar factors that the court considers relevant. O. Reg. 102/06, s. 1.
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 parents or spouses in proportion to their
respective incomes after deducting from the expense, the contribution, if any, from the child.
O. Reg. 391/97, s. 7 (2).
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. O. Reg. 159/07, s. 2.
Child Care Expenses
If possible, a receipt should be produced, or at least a clear statement as to the date or time or how the expenses are incurred and the amount paid.
Medical and Dental Insurance Premiums
Usually there is no additional charge, but if there is, it should be set out.
Health Related Expenses
Receipts should be provided. Whenever possible some discussion or advance information should be exchanged about the expenses being incurred.
Extraordinary Expenses For Primary or Secondary School
This should be for tutoring or academic improvement.
Post Secondary Education
This is a complicated area in which there has to be some consideration of the overall costs for all aspects of the post secondary education, as well as some calculation as to the amount to be paid by the student. Loans and bursaries should also be considered.
Extraordinary Expenses for Extracurricular Activities
This should apply to only those which are actual "extraordinary expenses." Ordinary activities for a child of the financial background of the mother and father should not be included. In other words, a middle class family could expect that their child would be involved in certain sport activities, such as soccer, baseball, or hockey. It is only if those expenses become more than would reasonably be anticipated for a family of that financial background should it be presented
General Comments Regarding Payment
The best approach would be to submit the particulars each month, with payment being requested for perhaps as soon as 15 days.
Our firm may be able to refer you to some specific examples if you wish to see them. However, it is sometimes difficult to predict what a court will do with any specific situation because this determination is very much a “fact determined” result.