What qualifies as an extraordinary expense?
When a child support order is put in place, it takes into consideration a variety of factors. Everything from the parents’ current incomes, any annual bonuses, children either parent is already supporting not covered by the court order and the children’s expenses are all part of the calculation. While the child support order is to pay for the vast majority of the children’s expenses, there may sometimes be special or extraordinary expenses that need to be taken into account.
The most common of these is health care expenses. While regular doctor visits and routine care may not need special negotiation, things like orthodontia are extremely expensive, and it can be unfair for the custodial parent to shoulder most if not all of the responsibility for that burden. Other situations may be when a child requires ongoing treatments or care for a chronic illness or mental health issue.
It is best to anticipate these situations and go ahead and make provision in the court order at the time it is established. In most cases, the courts — if they approve the extraordinary expenses — will split the costs according to a certain percentage depending on each party’s income. However, you and your ex can also choose to split the amount 50/50 or another way and ask the courts to approve your agreement.
If you have questions about what special or extraordinary expenses may be and how to make sure these are covered with a court order, an attorney can help. Gathering more information on your options and what the law allows in British Columbia is the first step.
Source: People’s Law School, “Child Support in BC,” accessed March 02, 2016
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