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Family Law FAQ

What are s. 7 expenses?

The standard fixed child support amounts that you pay are referred to as s. 3 expenses.  S. 7 or ‘special’ expenses are amounts that are payable by the spouse paying support, but the spouse receiving child support must also contribute to these expenses in proportion to their income.  For example, if one spouse earns $100,000 and the other earns $50,000, the parent earning $100,000 will pay 67% of all s. 7 expenses and the other parent will pay 33%.

Typical s. 7 expenses include day care or after-school care fees, sports or other extracurricular activity registration fees, uninsured medical or dental expenses, and in the case of children over 18, university tuition.  It is possible in some cases to dispute whether or not one parent should have to contribute to a child’s expenses, but if the expenses fit into the categories just mentioned here, then the parent paying child support will likely have to contribute.

Does child support stop when a child turns 18?

No.  There are many factors that have to be examined to determine whether or not child support will continue after a child becomes an adult.  In order to continue receiving support, the now 18 year old child must still qualify as a dependent child of the marriage or relationship.  An adult child can continue to be a ‘dependent’ for a number of reasons.

Firstly, when a child is still completing high school when they turn 18, they will still be considered a dependent.  Also, when a child continues on to some sort of post-secondary education, they will also be dependent.  A child who has left school can begin receiving support again if they return to post-secondary or even if they are upgrading or completing high school.

In a situation like this, while a court will start with the Guideline amount for child support, but it will also examine other factors such as the child’s ability to work to contribute to their own expenses, and whether or not that child has severed their relationship with the payor parent.  S. 3 and s. 7 support can be reduced depending on these and many other factors.



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