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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 09-02-2014, 03:55 PM
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Default Who pays for extracurricular sports?

Shared custody, child is registered in various sporting activities. Parent A pays child support to Parent B. Written agreement in place, sports split 50/50.

Parent B only agrees to $250 annually, doesn't want to pay any more for other sports, would rather child not play or that Parent A pays 100%.

Parent A wants kid to play sports and knows $250 is not near much to cover today's costs.

So what does Parent A do?
- Pay out of pocket for sports above $500?
- Tell child that he/she canít play any more sports?
- Take Parent A to court, tell them agreement states 50/50, but Parent A wonít agree to registration.
- Reduce CS to compensate for Parent A not paying for sports as Parent B pays 100%.

Thoughts? Can a Parent be forced to agree to register a child in activities and pay for it? Can a parent be forced to pay for an activity they donít agree too? I donít think so.

I believe Parent B is out of luck and canít reduce CS, and if Parent A registers child for additional sports it is up to Parent A to pay 100% of that cost.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadaguy View Post
Shared custody, child is registered in various sporting activities. Parent A pays child support to Parent B. Written agreement in place, sports split 50/50.

Parent B only agrees to $250 annually, doesn't want to pay any more for other sports, would rather child not play or that Parent A pays 100%.

Parent A wants kid to play sports and knows $250 is not near much to cover today's costs.

So what does Parent A do?
- Pay out of pocket for sports above $500?
- Tell child that he/she canít play any more sports?
- Take Parent A to court, tell them agreement states 50/50, but Parent A wonít agree to registration.
- Reduce CS to compensate for Parent A not paying for sports as Parent B pays 100%.

Thoughts? Can a Parent be forced to agree to register a child in activities and pay for it? Can a parent be forced to pay for an activity they donít agree too? I donít think so.

I believe Parent B is out of luck and canít reduce CS, and if Parent A registers child for additional sports it is up to Parent A to pay 100% of that cost.
Most agreements have wording around Section 7 expenses that specifies "mutually agreed extraordinary expenses". That is why some couples write specific things to cover specific sports.

Did the child play hockey before the split?

You can't really force something more than what is already agreed to. Court costs to try to change the agreement would probably cost more than the sport.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad View Post
Most agreements have wording around Section 7 expenses that specifies "mutually agreed extraordinary expenses". That is why some couples write specific things to cover specific sports.

Did the child play hockey before the split?

You can't really force something more than what is already agreed to. Court costs to try to change the agreement would probably cost more than the sport.
So are all sports considered extra-ordinary? $60 for swimming lessons or $80 for t-ball is extra-ordinary?

Since majority of kids play hockey does that mean it is or is not extra-ordinary? $500 to play house league hockey I do not believe is extra-ordinary but top level AAA hockey costing $5,000 + would be extra-ordinary.

Really I think the question is about one parent refusing to pay money while the other is forced to pay CS.

I'm sure a crap storm would be raised if the parent paying CS said no, can't afford it but if the other parent saying no, can't afford more than $250 in sports is acceptable?
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadaguy View Post
So are all sports considered extra-ordinary? $60 for swimming lessons or $80 for t-ball is extra-ordinary?

Since majority of kids play hockey does that mean it is or is not extra-ordinary? $500 to play house league hockey I do not believe is extra-ordinary but top level AAA hockey costing $5,000 + would be extra-ordinary.

Really I think the question is about one parent refusing to pay money while the other is forced to pay CS.

I'm sure a crap storm would be raised if the parent paying CS said no, can't afford it but if the other parent saying no, can't afford more than $250 in sports is acceptable?
^^^ That makes sense, because CS is meant to provide the necessities of life for a child, but sports are not a necessity of life.

I think it's quite reasonable for Parent B to say "based on my budget, here's the max I can afford for recreational activities". Parent A may wish Parent B would pay more, but this is a discretionary expense. S7s (except daycare) have to be agreed to in advance, and Parent B is being clear about what s/he will agree to.

So I think Parent A's options are to either cover the additional cost him/herself (and budget accordingly) or tell the kid that the particular sport is not affordable at the present time. Court would be a colossal waste of time and money, and it's not legal to unilaterally reduce CS because you think the other parent should be contributing more to the cost of hockey or t-ball or whatever.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadaguy View Post
So are all sports considered extra-ordinary? $60 for swimming lessons or $80 for t-ball is extra-ordinary?

Since majority of kids play hockey does that mean it is or is not extra-ordinary? $500 to play house league hockey I do not believe is extra-ordinary but top level AAA hockey costing $5,000 + would be extra-ordinary.

Really I think the question is about one parent refusing to pay money while the other is forced to pay CS.

I'm sure a crap storm would be raised if the parent paying CS said no, can't afford it but if the other parent saying no, can't afford more than $250 in sports is acceptable?
From what I've read, it would depend on the income level of the parents. For most parents $60 or $80 would not be an extraordinary expense. As for hockey, if the parents are low income, $500 might be extraordinary, very high income, not likely. But when in doubt, consent would be required.

CS is very black and white, there are tables in the act which outline minimum amounts, there are enforcement agencies etc. You can't just decide to pay less without changing the agreement on mutual consent.

But unless your separation agreement was very specific about hockey or other specific extraordinary expenses, you have an uphill battle to find the same clarity over section 7 extraordinary expenses, and it may cost you more than paying for hockey out of your pocket.

That isn't fair perhaps, but that is reality.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:05 PM
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I don't really have a quota or set amount of activities or amounts in my agreement either. If I want to put my kids into more than what my ex wants to put them into, I simply accept two things:

1) She won't take them on her weeks if she won't want to
2) I will have to pay 100% for the activities that she doesn't agree to.

That's pretty much how it goes.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:05 PM
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I think also, what people forget is that 60-80 for sports isn't a lot when you break it down over the months. For example, if the activity runs for three months for $60, the twenty dollars per month is NOT extraordinary.

So for hockey, let's say typical season run 6-8 months at $500, a monthly cost of $65-85 may not be extraordinary depending on the income of the parents.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadaguy View Post
Shared custody, child is registered in various sporting activities. Parent A pays child support to Parent B. Written agreement in place, sports split 50/50.

Parent B only agrees to $250 annually, doesn't want to pay any more for other sports, would rather child not play or that Parent A pays 100%.

Parent A wants kid to play sports and knows $250 is not near much to cover today's costs.

So what does Parent A do?
- Pay out of pocket for sports above $500?
- Tell child that he/she canít play any more sports?
- Take Parent A to court, tell them agreement states 50/50, but Parent A wonít agree to registration.
- Reduce CS to compensate for Parent A not paying for sports as Parent B pays 100%.

Thoughts? Can a Parent be forced to agree to register a child in activities and pay for it? Can a parent be forced to pay for an activity they donít agree too? I donít think so.

I believe Parent B is out of luck and canít reduce CS, and if Parent A registers child for additional sports it is up to Parent A to pay 100% of that cost.
I was successful in getting an order for an additional $116 per month for a sport that the other parent had been and continued to outright refuse to pay for.

Questions that came up from the judge on this:

1) Is it a sport that she participated in prior to separation? (For us this was moot as the child was

2) Was notice provided to the other parent? (The judge used my Motion to Change as formal notification of such).

3) Is the sport beneficial to the child?

4) Are there other sports/clubs etc that I was requested reimbursement for? (No)

5) Could the parents reasonably afford the sport on their joint incomes? (yes)

The ex vehemently opposed. I was successful in getting share of the sporting fees $2400 per year. I have to provide receipts quarterly.
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