Family law: Extraordinary expenses can be added to child support

The circumstances of divorced parents differ according to the unique dynamics of each family. For that reason, the child support guidelines that have been in place since the 1990s have evolved to allow the consideration of extraordinary expenses. Under Ontario family law, these expenses to ensure the protection of best interests of the children can increase the guidelines’ base amount.
A parent requesting extraordinary expenses to be included in child support must motivate the claims. These could include the costs of sports activities, summer camp, lessons for dancing, swimming, music and more along with tutoring, special education or equipment a child may need. It could also be required for orthodontic work or medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance.

A parent might seek money to send a child to summer camp, and as motivation, he or she will have to show that the camp will benefit the child. If the request is approved, the court might order the parents to share the costs. Both parties must file their financial statements and income tax returns along with confirmation of their incomes. The way the court apportions the expenses will be based on this information.
An Ontario parent who needs to petition the court for extraordinary expenses to be added to the child support orders may seek the help of an experienced family law lawyer who can explain the requirements of the court. He or she can also file the petition and advocate for the parent in court. With skilled legal counsel, the child’s best interests may be protected. Source:, “What are examples of extraordinary expenses in child support?“, Accessed on May 5. 2017

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