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  • My Legal Briefcase

    I pay my proportionate share (70 percent) of my younger child's day care expenses, my older child's orthodontic bills and summer camp. After my $927 in monthly child support and $1000 in monthly spousal payments, out "net disposable incomes" are about the same, equalized. My older boy has just started playing competitive hockey as a goalie: $1,500 in expensive goalie equipment, winter and summer hockey camp schools, an expensive hockey league, uniforms, travel expenses around the province- the works. His mother says this is not part of the child's normal expenses that she should have to bear on her own. She claims the Child Support Guidelines allows her to ask me to share this expense as "special and ordinary." I say its part of her regular expenses since most boys play hockey in this country. I'm now remarried with a new child and a second family. Am I not paying enough already?
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    In Ontario, unlike some other provinces, a judge would likely order you to
    contribute to at least part of the hockey expenses in proportion to your respective gross
    incomes: 70%. Much depends on how much the total of these expenses entails in relation
    to your budget and you former wife's. Under Canadian law, having a second family in
    itself does not excuse you from your obligation to your first family. If there were a
    number of such extracurricular activities for both children and if the expenses seriously
    interfered with you ability to pay your bills after your other support payments, then a
    judge would likely hesitate or would at least reduce the level of your contribution.
    However, in a number of reported cases, depending on the facts, such as a higher table
    amount, judges have refused to order contributions o normal extra curricular activities on
    the basis they are already covered by basic payment. For instance, in one reported case, a
    judge ordered that the husband would not have to contribute to skating lessons but
    would have to pay towards the special travel costs of the child's skating competition
    overseas. Under section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines, much depends on the facts of
    each case: the number of children, the income of each of the parents, who has what kind
    of custody, the type of expense, which province, and whether the expense was paid for at
    the time of separation. For any specific situation, call my assistant Karen and ask about
    my "Section 7 Extraordinary Expense Database." Call (416)496-8880 or 1-888-776-2701
    and check out the Database at

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.

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