Documents for child support and special expenses

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

(Summary Including Documents for Each Separate Category)

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 the following:

  • 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 include:

For daycare:

  • 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.

For medical or dental expenses:

  • Invoices and receipts or other records of payment for any expense paid;
  • Copies of prescriptions for medication;
  • Receipts for filling prescriptions;
  • Copies of referrals from family physicians to physiotherapy or massage therapy or other such practitioners;
  • Reports from physiotherapists, chiropractors or other practitioners where applicable;
  • Copies of recommendations from family physicians, school representatives or others regarding counselling;
  • Reports from counsellors where applicable;
  • Estimates from dentists or orthodontists as to cost of treatment;
  • Recommendations for dentists or orthodontists regarding timing of treatment;
  • Reports from dentists or orthodontists as to status of treatment;
  • Copies of extended benefits plan terms and conditions and limits of coverage;
  • If there is an extended benefits plan but it doesn’t pay the service provider directly, copies of submission to the plan of the receipt for reimbursement and copies of the response from the plan and amount of reimbursement.

For primary or secondary education expenses:

  • 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;
  • Special education plans and/or individual education plans.

For post secondary expenses:

  • Registration documentation for the institution and particular courses;
  • Background information regarding the institution and the particular degree or diploma;
  • Information from the institution as to any required prerequisites;
  • Information from the institution as to anticipated overall cost of the program and length of the program;
  • Information from the institution or elsewhere as to career opportunities;
  • Tuition invoices and receipts or other proof of payment for each course;
  • Course requirements in terms of books or supplies for each course;
  • Invoices and receipts or other proof of payment for required books or supplies;
  • Transcripts to confirm number of courses, applicability of courses toward specific program, and successful completion of courses;
  • Income tax returns for the children regarding their income (and ability to contribute to costs);
  • Student loan applications and responses;
  • Bursary or scholarship applications and responses;
  • RESP statements.

For activities:

  • Registration forms for the particular activity;
  • Invoices and receipts for payment for registration for the particular activity;
  • Lists from the organization sponsoring the activity or the coach or activity leader of specialized equipment or supplies that are required or recommended for the particular activity;
  • Receipts for purchase of specialized equipment or supplies;
  • If uniforms or costumes are required, invoices and receipts for payment for those;
  • Registration forms for particular tournaments or competitions associated with the activity;
  • Invoices and receipts for payment for registration for tournaments or competitions;
  • Receipts for travel and accommodation costs relating to cost of the children travelling for tournaments or competitions;
  • For activities where various levels of achievement are involved, certificates of completion of each level;
  • Any special recognition certificates, letters, commendations that the children have received for attendance or participation or success at their activity;
  • If the children or their team have been recognized in local newspapers or other sources, copies of the articles or other content;
  • If continued participation in the activity may lead to employment prospects or scholarships or bursaries toward post secondary education expenses, any documents in that regard.

In other blog posts we give suggestions of specific documents to gather together to address 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.

Russell Tretiak Q.C.; Lori Gerbig; Candice Hall; Brandon Hastings; Rasjovan Dale (Articled Student)

written by Lori Gerbig

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