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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-22-2011, 06:59 PM
alx alx is offline
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Default back to school costs - out of hand?

3 kids, grades 12, 9 and 6.

She's "just getting started" and wants "half" of back to school costs. Currently she's just over $1000 - and like mentioned "just getting started".

Now, when I went "back to school", I got a pair of shoes, one or two shirts and a pair of jeans. Supplies "if needed" (generally pencil crayons, pencils & pens, binder or two and paper).

(Oh, she just got back from a trip to Los Angeles w the new bf -- I wondered why she needed an advance on her August C.S. $$$$).


Anyway, where does one draw the line? The kids can't possibly need tons of new clothes/shoes etc all "at once" -- assuming my monthly C.S. is being spent "wisely".

What do some of you folks do (or expect) when it comes down to "back to school" costs? FWIW, she makes about twice what I do.

Thanks for any thoughts on the matter!

Alex
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:06 PM
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You already pay your share of clothing and school supplies. Her bad if she doesn't budget for a big buy in August.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:42 PM
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School supplies and 'start of school clothing' are normal and covered by CS if you pay full CS.

You've already paid for those items. Don't pay twice!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:52 PM
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Ditto to what previous posters said ... CS covers clothing (ie. back to school clothes/summer clothes) ... and also "back to school" supplies ...

Don't pay ... let HER file a motion and try taking you back to court .. and self-rep because this is a no-brainer
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:35 PM
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Does your agreement specify that you will pay half of these expenses over and above child support? If not, I would suggest that you give each child a gift, though you are not obligated. Your ex would probably appreciate it if you offered to take the kids shoe shopping..

Every family does this differently but personally, I buy each child one pair of shoes for outdoors and one for phys.ed (if needed). They each get a couple of pairs of pants, shirts, new socks and undies. Depends on how good of shape the back pack is in...ditto with the lunch kit. School supplies add up!!

This does not include registration, activity fees, etc...

I have two kids left at home (was 4) and will probably spend $800. They like American Eagle, Hollister, and Calvin Klein... so we find shopping in the US cheaper. My son is a size 15 shoe and requires orthotics, so his expenses really add up. By no means do they get everthing all at once and depending on the weather, often most fall/winter clothes can be bought later.

$1000 total does not seem inappropriate for three kids, considering.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:01 PM
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I appreciate the info you folks have provided!

Any references that I can give to her though? She keeps claiming that "her lawyer" is telling her it's over and above normal C.S. Is there any legal references or even case law available?


@momof6 - just to clarify her spending of just over $1000 - that is "just getting started" -- she has yet to buy shoes, shirts, pants & supplies. (no idea what she's already spent the $$$$ on -- I'm guessing it has more to do with her trip than back to school stuff).
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:13 PM
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My ex tried this, it was our daughters first year in school and my access was just increased to include 2 school days. I spent $300 on clothing for her but it included winter clothing and all that stuff as well. Then my ex tried to guilt trip me into giving her more money for back to school shopping and I told her to give me a list of what she needs, and then we can divide what each of us was going to get her. She said no because she wanted to do all the shopping. End of story.
If you want to help out for your kids, I would do like what Momof6 said and take them out to buy shoes or something if you like. Really though, $1000 is just getting started, wow we used to get $100 for each of us when I was a kid for back to school and this lasted us until I was 15.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:49 PM
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Here is the law on s7 expenses:

Special or extraordinary expenses
7. (1) In an order for the support of a child, the court may, on the request of either parent or spouse or of an applicant under section 33 of the Act, provide for an amount to cover all or any portion of the following expenses, which expenses may be estimated, taking into account the necessity of the expense in relation to the child’s best interests and the reasonableness of the expense in relation to the means of the parents or spouses and those of the child and to the spending pattern of the parents or spouses in respect of the child during cohabitation:
(a) child care expenses incurred as a result of the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment;
(b) that portion of the medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
(c) health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually, including orthodontic treatment, professional counselling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses;
(d) extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
(e) expenses for post-secondary education; and
(f) extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities. O. Reg. 391/97, s. 7 (1); O. Reg. 446/01, s. 2.
Definition, “extraordinary expenses”
(1.1) For the purposes of clauses (1) (d) and (f),
“extraordinary expenses” means
(a) expenses that exceed those that the parent or spouse requesting an amount for the extraordinary expenses can reasonably cover, taking into account that parent’s or spouse’s income and the amount that the parent or spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate, or
(b) where clause (a) is not applicable, expenses that the court considers are extraordinary taking into account,
(i) the amount of the expense in relation to the income of the parent or spouse requesting the amount, including the amount that the parent or spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate,
(ii) the nature and number of the educational programs and extracurricular activities,
(iii) any special needs and talents of the child,
(iv) the overall cost of the programs and activities, and
(v) any other similar factors that the court considers relevant. O. Reg. 102/06, s. 1.

Unless there is a specific need to spend such amounts for the children due to special needs of the children or the course, the costs of clothing and related school supplies would generally be covered under child support.

Just because she has decided to spend an extraordinary sum, doesn't mean the it has become and extraordinary expense.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alx View Post
I appreciate the info you folks have provided!

Any references that I can give to her though? She keeps claiming that "her lawyer" is telling her it's over and above normal C.S. Is there any legal references or even case law available?


@momof6 - just to clarify her spending of just over $1000 - that is "just getting started" -- she has yet to buy shoes, shirts, pants & supplies. (no idea what she's already spent the $$$$ on -- I'm guessing it has more to do with her trip than back to school stuff).
She wants money from you. Let her get the references. Who cares what her lawyer said - that is such BS - she has to prove it. EVERYONE here has said it is covered by CS, period. "My lawyer said" always makes me laugh.

Let her join this forum and learn for herself.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:22 PM
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Do the math for her. Explain how $1000 spent in a "bulk purchase" of clothing and supplies only averages out to $83 a month. Explain how it is her choice to purchase such a large quantity of items at once, and that how she chooses to manage her personal cash flow situation is really none of your business, and you would rather keep out of it.

Then do what you say, and keep out of it. Hopefully she will see it for the reality of what it is (a choice to "bulk purchase").
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