Documents That Might Be Necessary in a Family Law Case Involving Child Support and Special and Extraordinary Expenses
(Primary or Secondary School)
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 and in particular primary or secondary school.
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 (the subject of this particular post);
- 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; and
- The amount of the expense.
The Specific Documents That May Be Useful Regarding Primary or Secondary School Education Expenses Include:
- Letters or emails from teachers regarding extra help with schoolwork or recommendations regarding tutoring;
- Report cards;
- School attendance records and tardiness records;
- Copies of tests and assignments in subjects where tutoring is recommended;
- Comments by teachers on assignments, essays or tests written by the children in subjects where tutoring is recommended;
- Invoices and receipts or other proof of payment for tutoring;
- Assessments from the tutor and feedback from the teacher as to the effectiveness of tutoring;
- Notices from the school regarding any amounts payable to the school for activities or field trips or lunch programs and the like (many of which are not ultimately considered special and extraordinary expenses);
- Education assessments if available; and
- Special education plans and/or individual education plans.
- 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.
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.
We at First Law look forward meeting with you soon and working together to resolve your family law issues.
Russell Tretiak Q.C.
Rasjovan Dale (Articled Student)
Written by Lori Gerbig