In today’s blog, our Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses lawyers explain what child section 7 special expenses are and how they are calculated.
When there are children involved in the breakdown of a marriage or relationship, typically one parent is responsible for paying the other for the child support of the children. There may also be additional expenses for the child, which are called special or extraordinary expenses. Too many separated spouses settle for the floor minimum amount and deprive their child of key contributions to help make the child a successful adult. Don’t be the person who takes less than your child deserves. Call us toll free in BC or Calgary now at 1-877-602-9900.
Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers 1-877-602-9900
Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses lawyers know parties who hire a family lawyer do better in their result and are in the court system for a shorter period of time. Child support payments can usually only be properly assessed by a skilled lawyer who knows that tax returns do not always reflect the real income. Hidden cash, tax free expense payments, non-arm’s length transactions and self employed real income issues, are all critical areas where unrepresented parents make errors.
The higher the income of the payor, the more arguments can arise over what is a special expense add on. Unilateral registration in activities by one parent followed by a demand for payment also causes friction.
Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers- Expenses What Are They?
Section 7 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines gives the court the discretion to order payment of special expenses in addition to basic child support, which include the following:
- child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment;
- medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement,
- extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
- expenses for post-secondary education, and
- extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.
Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers Explain The Test
Even if an expense falls under one of the above categories, the expense must be both necessary and reasonable, based on the financial means of the parents, as the expense is to be shared between the parties. This was discussed in Clarke v Clarke, 2014 BCSC 824 (CanLII):
 Even where an expense fits into one of the listed categories, that is not the end of the story. The expenses must be both “necessary” — as defined in relation to the child’s best interests — and “reasonable,” as measured against the combined financial means of the parents (and, where appropriate, the child) as well as the family’s spending patterns prior to separation: see section 7(1) and Yensen v. Yensen, 2003 BCSC 1372 (CanLII) at para. 8. In addition if the expense is one listed under subsection (d) or (f) — educational programs or extracurricular activities — the party claiming the expense must prove that they are “extraordinary.”  There is no straightforward definition for “extraordinary” although section 7.1, recently added to the Guidelines, provides some guidance; it requires a sort of proportionality inquiry, looking at the nature and number of activities, any special needs or talents of the child, the overall cost of the activities, and any other similar relevant factors: see D.M.C.T. at para. 32.
Hire One Of Our Top Rated Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers Early On
In the recent 2017 case, the court found that a purchase of a car for the child does not qualify as a special expense.
In the recent decision of the BC Court of Appeal in Hsieh v. Lui, 2017 BCCA 51 they found that the cost of a nanny was not a special expense:
 In my view, the evidence does not support the conclusion that the cost of the nanny/housekeeper is an expense within s. 7 of the Guidelines. There was simply no evidence that Ms. Lui incurs the nanny expense for child care purposes as a result of her “employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment” (s. 7(1)(a)). In particular, as Mr. Hsieh points out, there was no evidence that Ms. Lui suffers from an illness or disability and she does not work outside the home so does not require child care for purposes of employment. Nor can the nanny/housekeeper’s services be characterized as “extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities” (s. 7(1)(f)). In the circumstances, despite the fact that Mr. Hsieh is a high-income earner and Ms. Lui was assisted by a nanny prior to separation, in my view the judge erred in awarding the nanny cost as a shared expense under s. 7 ofthe Guidelines.
MacLean Law’s Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers Can Help
In sum, the determination of what constitutes a special expense is a fact-specific inquiry. Each case depends on the individual family in question. Contact our Vancouver Calgary Child Special Expenses Lawyers today toll free at 1-877-602-9900 to help you assess the circumstances and needs of your children to ensure that the best interests of the children are met.