Section 7 Expenses Can Be Dealt With Through Mediation
Child support is money paid from one party to the other when the parties cease living together. There are two types of support payments: base support and extra expenses. While the Federal Child Support Guidelines determine base support, the extra expenses can be a bit of a grey area. At Jones Divorce Mediation we are experienced in helping separating couples determine child support.
Section 7 versus Section 3 Child Support
There is no shortage of ways to refer to child support payments. The two basic components to child support are a base amount of child support and “special” or “extraordinary” expenses. The first component, the base amount, sometimes referred to as the “basic” monthly amount, the “table” amount or “section 3” support in reference to the specific provision in the legislation, is set according to the income of the payor parent. This category of child support is intended to cover just that: basic expenses for a child including food, shelter and clothing, basic transportation, educational and extracurricular needs.
How To Determine Section 7 Expenses
The second component is commonly referred to as “extraordinary” expenses. These are meant to cover expenses for a child over and above basic needs. The cost of extraordinary expenses is shared between the parties, typically in proportion to their incomes. Extraordinary expenses, or “section 7” expenses according to the Federal Child Support Guidelines, are determined both by whether they are included in the list set out by the legislation and if so, whether they are reasonable and necessary given the family’s means and circumstances.
What Counts As A Section 7 Expense?
The list of special and extraordinary expenses are:
- child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment;
- that portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- 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;
- 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.
If you are going through a separation and need help sorting through child support issues, contact us today.