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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2017, 01:35 PM
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Default S7 expenses- School transportation

Hi everyone

Upon separation last May, my ex moved immediately into a new school catchment zone (in with a new partner). Therefore there is no school bus from his house to my kids school.

My children attend the public school that they attended pre separation, within the catchment zone that I currently reside. I purposely moved within my neighbourhood so they could continue to attend that school.

We do not have a separation agreement or any court agreements in place. We have started court proceedings.

Our children (2) are currently enrolled in the before and after daycare at the school and every morning, when they are in my care, I drive them to the daycare and pick them up (as was the case pre-separation). My ex has hired private transportation to take them to school (one of those school transport vans). He does work early (at work by 5:45 am) and leaves my children in the care of his partner until the school van picks them up. One of them transports them home at the end of the day.

We have 50/50 custody. As I am the higher earner, I am responsible for paying 2/3 (including daycare) of S7 expenses and I also pay him an equalization payment for child support. I don't have a lot of extra funds at the end of the month.

He is asking me to pay 2/3 of the school transportation costs. The transportation costs are $160 per month and I currently pay $690 per month child support. (in fact, it would be cheaper for me just to pick them up and drive them to school but he wouldn't allow that I'm sure). He did not discuss this with me at all prior to implementing this and actually refuses to tell me, even at the request of my lawyer several time, who was transporting my kids. To this day, I don't have the exact name of the company nor any other information about who is driving my kids.

After some research I believe that school transportation doesn't fall under an S7 expense and I have looked at the case law. (copied below). I believe this is the case as it doesn't clearly fall in the categories outlined in the child support S7 guidelines and also that part of my child support payments were intended to cover transportation costs (just as I bear my own costs for driving them every day I have them).

My question is, has anyone ever dealt with this exact issue??
(note that I am currently unrepresented therefore researching this issue by myself)

____
When the Federal Government drew the child support guidelines, and organized different tables for the different provinces - thereby recognizing that expenses varied from one location to another - it must have included some component of school transportation for school age children. (Gero vs. Joseph, 1999, ABQB 1068)
Each parent incurs the expense of transporting the child to and from school and we assume that this expense will continue to be borne by that parent. Contino v. Leonelli-Contino, 2003 CanLII 30327

When a child is attending a school that is not in his or her direct neighbourhood, the cost of transportation to that school is an extraordinary expense if the cost of that school is also found to be an extraordinary expense. Wanstall v. Walker, 1998 CanLII 5824
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:50 PM
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You are paying offset c/s? (You mentioned equalization, but that word generally refers to splitting of assets, not c/s). In that case all non- section 7 expenses are split 50-50.
The idea of offset c/s is that both households have an equal 'spend' on regular kid expenses - although one parent is subsidised by the other via c/s.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkyface View Post
You are paying offset c/s? (You mentioned equalization, but that word generally refers to splitting of assets, not c/s). In that case all non- section 7 expenses are split 50-50.
The idea of offset c/s is that both households have an equal 'spend' on regular kid expenses - although one parent is subsidised by the other via c/s.
The above might be fair, but I'm not sure if the case law backs that up.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:58 AM
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The OP seems to be asking which of these 2 options applies
1) Section 7, so I pay 2/3
2) Not Section 7, so I pay 0 because it is covered by CS.

But I think the options are
1) Section 7, so I pay 2/3
2) Not Section 7, so I pay 1/2 as per offset C/S arrangement
3) Ex caused expense by moving and I did not agree to expense, so I don't pay.

So it is really case law for option 3 that OP should be seeking.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:19 PM
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I think it would be number 3 a well. Maybe it would be section 7 if you lived in a city in which you were required to pay for bussing (like calgary), or if in a specialized program far from home and needed busing. But I would think if kids already going to school with no transportation cost, and then parent decides to move and there are transportation costs because of it, then that parent would just have to pay for it. I didn't know there was such a thing as a company that you can independently hire to take your child to school in a van.
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