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Child support and special expenses

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Family law

Yves from Chomedy is paying child support to his ex-wife for the benefit of his minor children. Last month, his ex-wife requested that he contribute to certain other expenses for the children. Yves would like to know if he needs to contribute to these expenses over and above the child support he is currently paying.

The question of “special expenses” is one that has been widely studied by the courts over the years.

Basic Needs a Parent Should Provide For with Child Support

Basic monthly child support contributes to a child’s nine (9) basic needs including:

Food,
Clothing,
Housing,
Furniture,
Communications,
Housekeeping,
Personal care,
Transportation, and
Recreation.

Considering that every family situation is different and that every child is different, it may be that any child may have certain needs that go over and above those listed above; for example: orthodontics treatments; eyeglasses; or private school.

It is highly recommended that parents consult with each other prior to making any financial decision for the other parent.

Defining Special Expenses For Children

The Courts have repeatedly ruled on the eligibility of special expenses for children, and in several decisions, the Courts have granted the following special expenses:

- Net childcare expenses
- Medical expenses (orthodontics, psychologist)
- Tuition for private school
- School transportation
- Special courses and tutoring
- Camp
- Extracurricular activities, sports and cultural activities

In the absence of an agreement, it is the Superior Court Family Division that has the difficult task of deciding if the expenses that are being requested by a parent are special expenses. The Court will decide if the expense is in the best interest of the child and if a parent must contribute to their payment. The special expenses will than be paid by the parents in proportion to their respective annual income.

Gianina Fuschini, attorney
Alepin Gauthier avocats inc.

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