Do I need to pay all special or extraordinary expenses?

December 19th, 2014 by

Toronto family law lawyer Sarah Falzon was recently asked the following question: “Generally, if the child was involved in the activity prior to separation, then you’ll likely need to continue to pay for it after separation. Does this mean year after year or just for the lessons for the year of separation?

When paying child support, you are not required to cover the cost of all the activities your child was involved with prior to separation – only those that fall under the category of “extraordinary expenses.”

When you separate from your partner, you are required to pay child support, including “special and extraordinary” expenses in proportion to your incomes regardless of how you worked out the base child support payments. In this video here, John Schuman provides information on child support expenses and the Child Support Guidelines.

These special and extraordinary expenses are sometimes referred to as “Section 7” expenses as they are outlined in Section 7 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Based on the Guidelines, you are required to cover the costs of extraordinary extracurricular activities. So, you do not have to cover the costs of just any activity your child is enrolled in. Presumably, your base child support payments will be used to cover this expense. But when the expense exceeds those that your ex partner can reasonably cover, taking into account his or her income, you may be required to cover your proportional share. This podcast here further explains special and extraordinary expenses.

If the activity is deemed to be an extraordinary expense, then you will be required to cover your proportional share of this cost until you are no longer required to pay child support.

Sarah is a family law lawyer. She practices family law, child protection law, and education law at Devry Smith Frank LLP, a full service law firm located near Eglinton and the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. Learn more about Sarah! Call her at 416-446-3320 or 416-446-5847 or email her at

Flag Counter