Child Support is mandated by the Divorce Act, and your Province’s local legislation dealing with family law issues.  This would include the Family Law Act in British Columbia, and the Family Law Act in Alberta.  These Acts refer to the Child Support Guidelines.

A Section 7 expense is found in the Child Support Guidelines, and is the second category of child support payable by parents.  The first category is Section 3 child support, or the monthly payment.  The monthly payment is intended to be the payor parent’s total contribution to the child’s living expenses.  This payment covers all living expenses except those set out in Section 7 of the Guidelines.  Section 3 child support payments will be part of a different blog article.

Here are the categories of expenses that are set out in Section 7 of the Guidelines:

  1. Child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment,
  2. That portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child,
  3. 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,
  4. Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
  5. Expenses for post-secondary education, subject to the terms of this Agreement; and
  6. Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.

If there is an expense for your child that does not fit one of the above six categories, then the other parent’s contribution is presumed to be part of the monthly payment.  In other words, if the expense does not fit into one of these categories, it is not to be shared.

Notable and common expenses that are not considered Section 7 expenses:

  1. Cell phones,
  2. Vehicle costs – fuel, insurance, purchase price,
  3. Registered Education Savings Plans (“RESP’s”),
  4. ‘Normal’ school costs – lunch fees, bussing, “September” fees, year books,
  5. Winter clothing, boots, shoes, etc., and
  6. Anything that does not fit into the above six categories.

Having trouble with Section 7 expenses?  I can help you.  Feel free to give me a call or send me an email.