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special expenses vs ridiculous expenses!

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  • special expenses vs ridiculous expenses!

    Any links to some case law would be great! I have a few I'm reading right now and making notes on.

    I pay the table about for CS, plus have benefits with work for the kids. she also has benefits so medical is basically 100% covered.

    Financially, I'm more than tapped out. I live on credit 6 months of the year and have to work 12-14 hour days the other 6 months to pay the credit down to live the next 6 months & so on. I'm paying on debts that were incurred while 'together' with my ex & kids.

    Now, my quality of life (QOL) is crap. I have half a closet for my stuff, and a couch to sleep on. I rarely get to see my kids because of my living conditions. My good credit history is going to crap while she has a house(renting), paid for vehicle/insurance, cash bail outs from her parents when ever she wants. My kids get tons of Christmas presents ,Boxing day presents, Easter presents and 'when-ever' presents from my ex (new laptop computers, guitars, drums, video games & consoles, etc. - its a pretty 'lavish' lifestyle). I managed squeeze out a few bucks for things sure, but nothing like she gives them.

    Now she's expecting me to pay hundreds of dollars to go 'half' with her on summer camps, and even an OVERSEAS trip (oh, I'd also have to take a week off work to watch the other kids, since she's going too).

    I'm pretty sure s.7 wouldn't qualify these as 'extraordinary' expenses I'd have to cover - but what do I tell her to stop her from giving me a hard time about paying these? I can tell her I'm financially tapped, but I keep getting hounded, and my kids tell me she's telling them I'm a 'dead beat dad' for not contributing. Having to also work 6-7 days a week in the spring/summer/fall season makes it extra hard to see my kids - she even wants 'babysitting' money from me so she can go out on weekends. I've told her, I'll take the kids full time and won't expect more than the basic child support amount - but got laughed at for that idea.

    Any thoughts? I feel like just severing my ties completely. Pay my child support amount and tell her "I'm done". It feels like that right now anyway since I rarely get to see the kids (due to having to work so much, combined with living conditions). I suppose the worst that would happen is court.... but would a judge/jp consider my QOL (or lack there-of) relevant compared to her and the kids QOL?

    (FWIW, she has been nice enough to offer to let me stay at her place with the kids to see them - on the weekends she takes off for her mini-trips out of the country - however, she moved out of town, currently a 3 hour drive, and knows I don't have the $600 to fix my car to drive there).

    Thanks for any advice (and links to relevant case law).

  • #2
    I can understand your frustration. We're constantly fighting over "special and extraordinary expenses" as well. Anything from a $10 drop-in class to a $200 summer camp.

    According to two lawyers we've spoken to, "special and extraordinary expenses" are those that cannot reasonably be covered by child support. They are specifically outlined in section 7, as you know. Examples are braces, therapy, boarding school, etc. As for extracurricular activities, the only ones that fall under section 7 are activities such as AAA hockey which require expensive equipment and travel to tournaments, etc. Things like swimming lessons or summer camps are covered in child support. I wish we knew this earlier, because for the past 6 years we have set a status quo in paying for every little acitivity, and now it's very hard to back out of that, especially since my husband is unemployed and unable to cover such extra expenses.

    I wish I knew a case law that would help you. Did you try CanLII?


    • #3
      I've been reviewing cases on CanLII to get some ideas.. and yes, it's frustrating - I'm not one of the types that doesn't want to contribute, just can't.... and if I do, that simply means I have to work more which results in little to no time available for me to see the kids...

      I did that last year, didn't get to see my kids at all during the summer & fall (as I was working 2 jobs to contribute to extras) - and in the end, have the "EX" trying to get more CS as she "accidentally" forwarded my mail to her address for a bit and happened to open a couple of pay stubs showing the extra earnings on it.

      what to do..
      what to do...
      I love my kids & all, but the crap the 'system' (and greedy ex's) throws at us really makes me regret having kids at all some times... it keeps me from having a good quality of life, which in turn takes away from a QOL the kids could have with me.


      • #4

        For the sake of your children -- Hang in there.



        • #5
          I am doing my best to hang in there.. the thing is, do I try to give them extra $$ which eliminates my time with them (which they don't need the $$ - the ex gives them whatever they want, whenever they want - but turns & expects me to pay half and when I can't does the 'dead beat dad' routine)....

          or do I tell her 'no'.. I can't afford to give more than the basic CS amount so I have gas money to go see the kids once or twice a month... and hope she isn't too 'pissed-off' to let me see them (I've mentioned, they can't come see me due to the fact I sleep on a couch in a friends living room).


          • #6
            I cant answer that question. Legally, you have an obligation to support your child/children. However the extra curricular expenses are not absolute. Most times they are prorated to reflect each parents line 150 amount. The secondary issue is whether or not the said expense is reasonable.


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