Federal guidelines provide a broad framework for determining basic amounts that one parent pays to the other in support of their child’s maintenance and care. But outside of ordinary support payments, parents may claim amounts for ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ expenses. Our post this week looks at what these expenses may encompass.
What Is Considered ‘Special’ Or ‘Extraordinary’?
Special or extraordinary expenses are those that go above and beyond expected the day-to-day costs of raising a child – such as rent, food, clothing, transportation, pocket money, babysitting or expenses for ordinary recreation or schooling.
Special or extraordinary expenses can include amounts for such things as:
- Special tutoring or private school tuition
- Post-secondary education
- Extracurricular activities in which the child excels or shows a gifted talent
- Medical and dental insurance premiums
- Healthcare expenses exceeding $100 per year, such as for orthodontics, therapy, counseling, glasses or medical appliances
- Childcare costs while the custodial parent works, fulfils educational requirements or is disabled
Necessary And Reasonable
Even if expenses may seem to be special or extraordinary in nature, they must also meet two fundamental criteria:
- Necessary – the expenses must be needed to meet the child’s best interests
- Reasonable — the expenses must match both the prior spending habits of the family before separation and the parents’ ability to shoulder the costs
Either parent can claim special or extraordinary expenses and both generally share payment proportionate to their incomes. But expenses can only be enforced if they are specifically detailed in what they are and how much they cost.
The lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott are experienced in helping clients arrange child support arrangements are ready to provide advice for families throughout Surrey.