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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 11-03-2010, 12:38 PM
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Default Extraordinary and special expenses - braces

Hi,

I am new to this site and would appreciate some input on my situation. I have been divorced for 7 years and have 2 great kids age 11 and 9 from that marriage. Remarried 4 years ago and just had another wonderful addition to our family.The 2 children from my first marriage spend roughly half the time with me and half the time with their mother.
We have an agreement in place that states the special and extraordinary expenses are $600.00/ child/ year, of which I pay 60%, their mother 40%.

The 11yr old has started orthodontic treeatment. Between my wife and I we have covered nearly 60% of that cost with our benefits combined. The remaining balance, I feel, should be covered by their mother.

Is this correct? She is arguing that our benefits don't matter and that the remaining amount should be divided 60/40. (Background - She works part time - 4 days/ week - and does not have benefits. Her boyfriend - good guy - has some coverage under his benefit plan).

I would really appreciate hearing from peeople that have gone down this path and let me know what the "norm" is in this crazy world.

PS. My hats off to all the great step parents out there. It is the toughest job in the world.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:17 PM
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Remaining balance should be split. Proportionate to income. However can/should be done on a year by year basis, and medical insurance costs are also included in Section 7 expenses.
So if you have to contribute money out of your paycheck for medical insurance and your ex does not, that should be counted in your total expenses for your portion of contributing.
For example.....if at the end of the year, expenses look like this
Dental 5000.00
Less benefit coverage (2000.00)
Activities 1000.00
Total =4000.00 To be split 60\40 as you say
You would pay 2400.00 and your ex would pay 1600.00

However, you can offset your amount by the amount your benefit coverage costs you to have the kids covered. There are really great forms on gov. website that can help you with this.
Here is the link
The Federal Child Support Guidelines: Step-by-Step
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:19 PM
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Special expenses are all relative, depends entirely on the wording of things. In this kind of situation my understanding is that the Extra expense that is split is AFTER things like benefits are applied. HOWEVER in that instance the "extra" amount you would pay for having the children under a family (as opposed to a single) benefit plan would ALSO be a special expense. (especially true if only ONE household has benefits)

ie. Your benefit package is $50/month for a single person and $100/month for the family plan. The extra $50/month would be a "special expense".

What you could do also, if you have more children, then you divide up the extra and only apply the per child amount as extra expense. (ie. you have 3 kids and then have 2 more with the new spouse, using the above example, only $30 of the "family benefit" would be "extra expense")

The other alternative is that she gets a benefit plan for HER household, and you get HER plan to cover some of the cost as well. If her boyfriend is living there and is willing or has placed the children under the benefits, then apply THAT to it as well, then split the remaining cost.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:21 PM
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Medical insurance premiums are one of the top considerations in calculating Extraordinary Expenses. If both parents have coverage, or if your company pays for your coverage, its not an issue.
However, if you are like my boyfriend, his cost 200.00 per month, which goes a long way in offset for Ext Exp.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:30 PM
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From my understanding, the costs of maintaining the coverage are generally not taken into consideration when determining each parties proportion to such expenses.

My reasoning for believing this is

a) what would be cost of the expense if you did not have coverage? Answer is substantially more. So you are personally receiving the benefit of the coverage.

b) would you be maintaining the coverage notwithstanding having the children otherwise? Meaning, would you have family health insurance even if you didn't have the kids and would it cost extra to maintain the insurance with the children compared to without.

If you would have family health coverage anyway, and the costs related to it with the children are not substantially different then the costs without the children. If so then you generally don't have much argument for saying that the costs associated with the coverage is for the children, when you would have been paying for it even if they never existed. And in your case, having the extra child with the new wife, leads me to believe that you would have this exact same coverage even if you didn't have the other children.

Edit - if you were single and had no other children, and had to pay an extra amount to cover the children as CISTEAD's b/f does, then you may be able to use that amount as an offset. But be prepared for a fight which you will have to weigh the costs of fighting her court vs the cost of the expense.

Yes, the ex does get a small benefit out of this also by also having to pay a reduced amount. I would be more likely to argue that she should be responsible for ALSO maintaining health coverage, so that both of your insurers cover an amount and then you split proportionally the remaining costs between you. That evens out the costs of maintaining coverage AND provides each with a significantly reduced cost for expense.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:43 PM
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HammerDad is right about the coverage being family vs. single. My case is different as there are no other dependant children and he is covered under my plan, which is free. So the cost is 100% for his children of the marriage.

This is a Worksheet from The Federal Child Support Guidelines:
You can see clearly where medical insurance premiums are used to calculate EACH parents contribution to expenses every year.
Worksheet 2

Use this worksheet to calculate your share of special expenses.
Part A
Total annual amount that you and the other parent spent on special expenses


You can use Line-by-line help for Worksheet 2, to help you complete this worksheet.
For each child, write the total amount that both parents pay each year for any of the following expenses:


__________
Child's Name

__________
Child's Name

__________
Child's Name

__________
Child's Name


Child-care expenses

19A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Medical and dental insurance premiums for the child

20A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Health-related expenses

21A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Extraordinary expenses for primary and secondary education

22A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Post-secondary education expenses

23A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities

24A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Total annual amount of special expenses spent on child (add lines 19 to 24 in each column)

25A_______

B_________

C_________

D_________


Total annual amount spent on special expenses by both parents (add lines 25A, B, C and D)

26________
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:25 PM
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Excellent info. Is there a way to make this thread a favourite?
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Thanks for the info

Thanks for all the input folks. Still a little confused, please bear with me:

1. Braces are $5600.00
2. My coverage is $1500.00.
3. Ex does not have benefits.
4. My wife has benefits, her boyfriend has benefits (kids are on his plan). Am I correct in stating that we should omit their contribution in determining what to pay?
5. I am guessing, but I am pretty certain my benefits are a taxable benefit in the area of $1000.00/ year which is added to my income.

So:

5600-1500= $4100. Based on our agreement of 60/40:
I pay $2460.00 and she pays $1640.00?

Thanks again...
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:40 PM
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Based on what you have told us then yes. After ALL assistance from ALL sides and sources are subtracted, you both share the difference 60/40.
So even if your plan is the only one that provided benefit, you still both share the bottom line.
You could look at it like you have already paid 1500.00 due to your benefit contribution, but that is incorrect. It is the bottom line that is shared.
And as far as the taxable benefit portion goes, that is a very tiny amount and I wouldn't even waste time on it.
And you are welcome.......
And don't you just hate Ortho bills.........! YUCK.......
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:22 PM
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look up the coordination of benefits rules for your insurance company (and your wife's, your ex's and her boyfriends) and here's how it should work (these rules apply to all insurance policies in Ontario). The amount to be split between the parents should be the amount that is remaining after all plans have been exhausted.


In cases of separation or divorce with multiple benefit plans for the children, the process described below ranks the order of the benefit plans to which claims must be submitted. A child’s coverage is primary under the benefit plan of the parent who has custody of the child. All other coverage is secondary.

1. Submit claims to the benefit plan of the parent who has custody of the child.
2. Submit balances to the plan of the spouse of the parent who has custody of the child.
3. Submit balances to the plan of the parent who does NOT have custody of the child.
4. Submit balances to the plan of the spouse of the parent who does NOT have custody of the child.

If the parents have joint custody and both have the children listed as dependents under their plans, claims should first be submitted to the plan of the parent whose birth date (month and day) occurs earliest in the calendar year. Balances can then be submitted to the other parent's plan.
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