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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 07-09-2009, 09:05 AM
Wiser2008 Wiser2008 is offline
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Default Children's bennefits

My common law wife has been divorced from her ex husband since last Dec they have 2 children aged 10, and 13. They have joint custody with 50/50 access for the children back in Nov of 2008 her son decided to live with us full time and were trying to vary the court order for him now. We have been together for almost 3 years and are getting married in Aug. After a waiting period of 1 year after living together I added her children to my bennefits last spring. Her court order states that her ex is to maintain bennefits for the children throughout so long as such bennefits are available to him. He pays 50% and his employeer pays the other 50%. We just found out from the dentist that he cancelled his bennefits last fall for the children because her son needed orthodontics. He states in emails you expect me to pay for half the braces! He also says she will have to pay because his new common law wifes bennefits don't cover orthodontics. I have 50% co-bennefit coverage up to $1500 but it costs $3000. My fiance gave him post dated cheques of $300 according to their agreement because she makes about $65,000/yr and he has been cashing the cheques eery month since last Nov even though her son has not been living with him. Can she get retro back? The funny thing is after doing some resaerch we found that her benneits actually cover the orthodontics but he just wants her to pay out of her pocket. His gravey train of $$$ is coming to an end and we believe that he cancelled them to save himself the money. I should point out that he makes over $50,000 per year. Wondering if anyone can give us some advice on any experiences they've had with judges, ie/ is it ok if he cancells his bennefits because his common law wife which he calls his girlfriend has bennefits for the kids? What if he breaks up with his girlfriend/ commonm law wife? Ever since I met this guy my wife has been paying him CS but she pays for everything the kids need ie/ school costs, extra curricular costs Dr's costs she has $3000's of reciepts dating back the past 2 years, I thought that CS was to cover these types of things? They have an order that states they are to split extra expenses but he has never given her a dime!
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:41 AM
#1StepMom #1StepMom is offline
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Hmm... interesting situation. I would imagine - in any normal relationship - the partner with the "better" benefits is the one that maintains coverage for the family. Therefore whether it's your or your wife, or the ex and his wife... each household should have the best benefits package available to the children. After all, if each parent is to provide coverage, then they are to do just so - whether it be through their own benefits or throug benefits available to them through their spouse. Just my two cents.

As for special and extraordinary expenses (such as extracurricular activities that necessitate high travel costs for tournaments or expensive equipment; medical and dental costs not covered by benefits) they should be split 50/50 between the parties, and all other expenses (such as extracurricular activities like swimming lessons or karate; day-to-day school necessities) are covered by child support. I don't see why a judge would not order your wife's ex to pay her back the child support she paid for the child that is living with you. I think it's time you get the support order re-evaluated, if not for financial reasons, then for peace of mind.

Good luck to you!
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:20 PM
got2bkid got2bkid is offline
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Sounds familiar, my husbands seperation agreement says that they are both to keep coverage, if avail. through the employer so most costs can be covered using both plans. Seeing as how his ex wife didn't work, she has never had coverage. My husband was left paying $120/month in medical coverage, and then when one child needed braces his coverage only covered $1500. They were $6800 braces as she has alot of problems that will be on-going. We pay 90% of this total. And the 90% was on the whole 6800, they didn't even subtract the $1500 that we had already paid for through the coverage we paid for!

Sorry I have no real ideas on how to solve this, we just had to make a deal with the dentist to pay $200/month for 2 years (yes, on top of CS and every other extra she makes him pay for). It seems in family law the more stubborn person, or the one who makes life hard for the others, gets it their way.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:20 PM
#1StepMom #1StepMom is offline
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Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
It seems in family law the more stubborn person, or the one who makes life hard for the others, gets it their way.
I agree! And the one who is willing to work cooperatively and provide their obligated child support and shares of obligated expenses is often made to pay more than necessary or required by law. It's frustrating, isn't it?
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:51 PM
PhoenixRising PhoenixRising is offline
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Quoted from the link below.

Child Support : Canadian Divorce Laws

The whole point being that a child should not suffer financially from a marital breakdown.

[quote] Child Support

Paying Child Support

You normally must pay child support if you are the non-custodial or non-principal residence parent.

How Much Child Support

A table called the Child Support Guidelines determines how much each individual will pay for child support. The amount you must pay monthly is determined by the province you live in, the number of children you’ll be paying support for, and the amount of money you earn.

When You’ll Have To Pay More

Often you’ll have to pay more than the amount in the Child Support Guidelines. This is because you must contribute to what are known as “special or extraordinary expenses” which include items such as daycare, medical expenses, some extra-curricular activities, private school and post-secondary education. Both parents will share special or extraordinary expenses in proportion with their incomes.

You’ve Got to Pay Extra for Your Child’s Hockey Expenses

When determining whether an extra-curricular activity qualifies as a special or extraordinary expense, courts look at the cost of the expense versus the costs of the activity. The support payor will argue that the expense is already included in the guideline amount of child support and the support recipient will argue the opposite. The reality though is that most judges like hockey, and if you’re not willing to contribute to your child’s hockey expenses, don’t expect favourable treatment by the judges. Optics are important in court.

Paying A Different Amount Than the Child Support Guidelines

Normally you are not allowed to pay less than the amount of child support required by the Child Support Guidelines. There are a few exceptions to this, however.
  • One exception is if you can prove that the application of the Child Support Guidelines would cause you undue hardship. However the courts have interpreted this provision vary narrowly, and it is difficult to prove undue hardship. If you manage to do this, your case will be read by every family law lawyer in the country.
  • If your child is eighteen or older, then child support need not be based on the guidelines. The courts will instead look at your child’s financial needs and their ability to contribute to their own support. That being said, often the Child Support Guidelines are used as a basis for starting (and ending) this analysis.
  • If your income exceeds one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, following the Child Support Guidelines is discretionary. Again, the courts normally do follow the guidelines unless a person’s income is about one million dollars per year or more. If you earn more than a million dollars per year, feel free to retain me.
  • In cases of shared custody, where both parents look after the children approximately the same amount of time, child support may be reduced (but will not necessarily be reduced).
When Child Support Ends

Child support typically is paid until your children are no longer in school. This means that you’ll often pay child support even when your child is in college or university earning their diploma or degree. There have been a few cases where support has been extended even further than this. Supporting your children is a life-long responsibility, and it doesn’t normally end when they turn eighteen as many believe.

Child Support And Taxes

Generally speaking, your child support payments will not qualify you for any tax deductions if your order for support was made after May 1, 1997. Likewise, the recipient of the child support does not have to pay taxes on the money you’ve sent. If your order for support was made before May 1, 1997 then you can deduct the support on your tax return and the parent who receives the support must pay tax on the amounts received.

Controlling How The Child Support Is Used

The payor has no control over how the child support is spent. The court has deemed your former spouse capable of looking after your children and assumes any monies received will be looked after and used appropriately, also. I know, it’s not always the case.

Denying Access and Withholding Payments

Even if you are denied access to your children you cannot stop paying child support. Access and child support are considered independent legal issues.

Child Support Is Due For the Child Even If The Parents Were Never Married

It doesn’t matter if you and the other parent were not married. It doesn’t matter if your child is the result of a one-night stand. It doesn’t matter if your girlfriend tricked you about birth control. Child support is to help the child financially; your child should not suffer financially because of your partner’s misconduct.

Child Support Is Due Even if the Other Parent Earns More Than You Do

Even if the other parent’s income is substantially greater than yours, you still have to pay child support. The idea behind this is that if you were an intact family, you’d still be helping your child financially; your child should not suffer financially because your relationship has fallen apart. In many cases, however, this child support obligation may be partially or completely offset by a spousal support obligation.

Child Support Is Still Payable Even If You Don’t See Your Child

Normally in law, if someone hurts you, they’ve got to pay you. In family law, like in Alice in Wonderland, this is reversed. So, if the child’s other parent moves half way around the globe to Australia so that you can never see your children, or alienates your child so that your child no longer wants to see you, you still have to pay child support.

Child Support Can’t Be Reduced Because You Have a new Family

So you’ve remarried and find out that you and your new partner are expecting triplets. Can you get a break on child support because of this? Probably not. Expect Kraft dinner for the next 25 years. And if you take on extra work to support the triplet, your child support will increase commensurately.

New Partner

Will your new partner’s financial situation be relevant to determining your child support obligation? Probably not. However, you may need to disclose your new partner’s income to your ex.[quote/]

Quoted from:

I know it is a US site however, it should not differ much from Canadian expectations.


Child support should be used to pay the child/ren's portion of:
  • Rent or Mortgage
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Sanitation
  • Telephone
  • Internet and Cable Television (in many places)
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Incidental expenses (such as toiletries, school supplies, gasoline for child-related driving, etc).
Some states also recognize the pre-marital standard of living of the child and may consider higher child support in order to maintain the standard of living for the child. This is why you often see ridiculous support decisions for children of celebrities.
Child support is not intended to cover:
  • Birthday gifts
  • Christmas presents
  • Family vacations
  • Extracurricular Activities (unless expressly stated)
  • The parent or the parent's new spouse
  • Allowance for the child
  • Any other child related luxury
  • The parent's other biological children or step-children
  • The parent's lifestyle
Some states may write in additional formal support to cover:
  • College costs
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Childcare
  • Private school costs
Some states may assess more child support or issue bills to cover:
  • Uninsured Medical expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Braces

Even if a complete directory of every possible scenario on the ways to use child support and awarding extra expenses, everyone if going to find some arguement on the topic.

Whatever the proportion of costs! Pay it as it is always in the best interest of your child.

BTW...the standard rate of the costs of Social Housing is 30% of child support goes towards rent. Do the math yourself and then ask yourself if you really are contributing enough towards your child financially.

It is called CHILD support for a reason!
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:14 PM
Wiser2008 Wiser2008 is offline
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Default Children's Bennefits

Thanks for the information.

So I guess its pretty safe to say that if a child doesn't reside with the parent for half a year but the previous agreement stated 12 post dated cheques and the parent that is recieving CS collects the money for him/herself a judge would not look to kindly on that person?

Is it best to continue paying and let the other parent collect a pay cheque even though they and their lawyer have stated in letters that they understand that the child wishes to reside with that parent and will not contest it?

How is it in the best interests of the children if you knowingly send $ to another parent who doesn't contribute and the child doesn't reside with that parent? Just because one parent was awarded primary residency in a joint custody arrangement shouldn't the children have to reside with that parent for them to retain primary residency?

It seems to me that this parent is collecting the money to try to use as a negotiating tactic while a new parenting agreement is being arranged!
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:51 PM
PhoenixRising PhoenixRising is offline
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Child support by the definition is intended to financially support the child. If child support is being paid to that parent who is listed as the primary residence, I would take this to mean that based upon the abilities of both parents the one receiving the CS is the one that is in the position of the parent who needs the financial support intended to continue and maintain the child in a similar economic environment as the the non-primary residence.

The child's lifestyle between both households is meant to be equal.

If 6 months is spent with one parent and another 6 with the other. The primary residence parent would still need to maintain the residence when the child is away.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:48 PM
piggybanktoex piggybanktoex is offline
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Child support in the higher income levels does nothing other than enrich the non-working or low paid ex.

When did Family Law become all about wealth transfer?
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:40 PM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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Really now. So if both parents work making a decent amount of money it's ok for the non custodial parent to pay child support, however if one parent gave up their career to raise the children it's not ok to expect the non custodial parent to contribute to the children's expenses through child support?

It's not about wealth transfer, it's about being responsible for your child/ren.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:43 PM
piggybanktoex piggybanktoex is offline
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Who said anything about not supporting our children.
  • Ex got mortgage-free $500 house
  • Ex will never need a job - free ride for life
  • All the RRSPs
  • Both kids have money in trust for higher education (funded by me)
  • Shared custody
  • I pay for private schools
  • SS of $200k plus for 15 years
Big, bad Dad gets the following:
  • To be Mom & Dad half the time
  • buy a much smaller house with full mortgage
  • To work forever now
  • To share my income for a decade and a half
  • continue to fund a lifestyle for an ex who didn't earn it by working
Thank God I didn't own a business or the other half of my income would be gone too

Oh, and it was her choice to quit work and not start again when the kids were in school all day

Need was not considered, only my means to pay.
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