Documents That May Be Necessary in a Family Law Case Involving Child Support and Expenses

Documents That Might Be Necessary in a Family Law Case Involving Child Support and Special and Extraordinary Expenses (Daycare in particular)

Written by Lori Gerbig

We at First Law have found that many clients don’t really have a good idea of what to expect from their lawyer or from the litigation process as a whole. So we thought that we’d put some thoughts together to give you, the client, an outline. This time we’re concentrating on documents related to child support.

The legal system is very document intensive. It is always necessary for the parties to prove what the facts are. You prove facts generally by swearing to the truth in an affidavit or in court but also by having documents to substantiate what you’re swearing to. Different documents are necessary for different purposes.

The suggestions in this post aren’t exhaustive. Every situation is different. Documents that are absolutely necessary in one case may not even be especially helpful in another case. But even if documents aren’t ultimately used, it is better to show all potential documents to the lawyer. The documents listed below are suggestions regarding what documents you may be able to show your lawyer.

Documents That May Be Helpful Regarding Child Support and Special and Extraordinary Expenses

Child support starts with basic child support which comes from the tables of child support under the Child Support Guidelines. There is a possible additional component to child support being a contribution by each parent (the parent who pays child support and the parent who receives child support) to special and extraordinary expenses. Sometimes the child is also expected to contribute.

Special and Extraordinary expenses are defined in the BC Child Support Guidelines with some additional guidance provided by judges in writing decisions in past cases. Special and Extraordinary expenses are also known as “Section 7 expenses” because it is section 7 of the BC Child Support Guidelines where the definition is found. Special and Extraordinary expenses include the following:

  • Daycare (required for the parent’s employment or education);
  • Medical or dental expenses that are not covered by any medical or dental insurance;
  • Certain expenses for primary or secondary education;
  • Certain post secondary school expenses for reasonable full time post secondary education associated with a realistic career goal for future; and
  • Certain expenses for extracurricular activities.

The contribution by each parent is based on that parent’s income. To determine the amount payable for special and extraordinary expenses, both parents have to produce their income tax returns and possibly other income related documents.

It is necessary to determine exactly what the special and extraordinary expenses are (or to decide if certain expenses even qualify as special and extraordinary). For that determination proof is required of:

  • Exactly what the expense is for;
  • The amount of the expense; and
  • If there is a possibility of subsidy or reimbursement, then the information about that is required.

The Specific Documents That May Be Useful Regarding Daycare Include:

  • Invoices and receipts or other records of payment;
  • If any subsidy is available, documents regarding the application for subsidy and result of the application;
  • Schedules from the daycare provider as to opening and closing dates and times and attendance of the children;
  • If the daycare provides any specialized services, documents regarding the extent of such services and any additional costs;
  • If the daycare has been an ongoing expense, tax returns showing the deduction claimed for daycare in prior years.

In other blog posts we give suggestions of specific documents to gather together to address other special and extraordinary expenses and other issues like parenting time and asset division. So check back for more information.

We at First Law look forward meeting with you soon and working together to resolve your family law issues.


Written by Lori Gerbig

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