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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 04-09-2010, 10:28 AM
decent fellow decent fellow is offline
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Default Question on CS and Section 7 Expenses

Hi... I am so glad to have found this Forum!

I just had my first court date this week... it was fairly uneventful. They simply scheduled a Case Conference for June 28. I had filed a motion in February to change Child Support to determine CS based on the "straight offset" method, as we share access nearly 50/50 (and have been for the past two years). I have been paying full table CS (with no offset) since the marriage dissolved 7 years ago. And the only way that my ex-wife would "allow me" to increase my time with my daughter for more than 40% of the time was to continue paying full table CS without an offset. I also pay for everything (including clothing & activities) for when she is in my care.

The offset that I am seeking would amount to a CS net reduction of ~$600 per month, as my ex-wife earns $64,000 (I currently pay full table CS of $2100 + SS of $1500 per month... SS will be ending in 2011 after 8 years for an 8 year marriage... we separated in 2003)

My ex-wife will not budge, or concede any $ to reflect the shared custody. Her lawyer did pull me aside after the court appearance, and we chatted... she suggested that we should try to "give the appearance to the court that we have tried to settle". This leads me to believe that at least her lawyer believes that attempts to compromise should be made... I am amenable to that... I think I would be satisfied if the CS calculation even incorporated only 1/2 of an "offset". I also wonder if the lawyer thinks that perhaps I have a valid case, in which case she would be motivated to settle before a judge opines on the case?

I have some questions on Section 7 expenses, as the Court did order that both sides produce receipts for any Section 7 expenses in question:

1. I have paid 100% of the ~ $2600 attributable to after school child care expenses, health care costs from health care insurance premiums & non-reimbursable claim amounts, and Brownie costs.
2. My ex-wife said that the cost of my daughter's dance classes was $2500 for the year... I do not pay for any of that. However, my ex-wife has said that my daughter's grandparents have paid for 1/2 that cost. Also, my ex-wife unilaterally enrolled her into the most costlier "competitive" classes 2 years ago... probably since she was getting half the cost paid by her own parents. I figured that by virtue of paying full table CS I was more than contributing to that cost anyway.

Our income ratios for Section 7 are ~ 70/30, so I appreciate that I would be responsible for 70% of Section 7 costs.

With regards to the $2500 of dance costs:
1. Is all or only part of this cost considered an "extraordinary expense for extracurricular activities" for Section 7 purposes? I read a court case where the judge deemed that the first layer of extracurricular costs was not extraordinary (i.e. covered by CS), but that the cost of the next level (i.e. "competitive") was considered extraordinary and should be shared.
2. Is only the portion that my ex-wife paid ($1250... as grandparents paid the other half) the amount that I must consider?
3. How does the fact that my ex-wife unilaterally enrolled her in the much more expensive "competitive" classes factor into this equation?

I appreciate any answers & thoughts that those more experienced in these matter can offer me!

Many thanks.
Old 04-09-2010, 03:56 PM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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Her lawyer wants to give the appearance of trying to settling because otherwise you have a good chance of being awarded costs for your ex being a dumbass.

Offset table is the defacto default that should have been applied, if the only way that you were able to secure more time with your daughter was to agree, you simply indicate that you signed under duress (can you prove she held the extra time over your head in exchange for full table?).

Are you currently collecting the CCTB 6 months of the year? If not, apply for it asap (if you can prove 40% or more). It's just one more little thing that you can bring into court to back yourself up that you truly have the child 40% or more.

As for the special expenses, was your daughter involved in dance prior to the split? Did you agree to have her enrolled to begin with? Were you given a chance to have any input on the competitive level of dance or was she signed up arbitrarily?

Your ex can try to make an argument for having it considered a special expense, but if you were not given any chance to have input into the decision, you can argue against having to pay for it.

Don't agree to make nice for appearances sake.

DO apply for split CCTB/UCCB

DO argue that you signed the old agreement under duress, as she held the additional time with your child hostage for more support money.

DO offer offset table amount of CS, with an automatic yearly adjustment based off the prior year's income tax (line 150 amounts) and a July to June payment schedule.

DO argue against the special expense if you want to, IF you were not given input into the activity.
Old 04-09-2010, 07:04 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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Regarding special expenses, things like the dance class are considered "extraordinary" if they are extraordinarily expensive.

If she was taking classes at the YMCA for $30 per month, it wouldn't be a section 7 expense.

If the classes cost $500 per month, then it certainly is section 7.

The grey area, you ex makes a decent wage and should be able to afford an expense of $200. It is on the high end, but it could be argued that it should fall under "ordinary" and be included in the CS budget.

If your ex's income were $30k, then it would certainly be extraordinary. Do you see what I'm driving at?

These arguments are grey, and you really need the opinion of an experienced lawyer, or you need to find a lot of cases on Canlii to compare. It's hard to say what the threshold is for "extraordinary" at each income level, and there isn't really a formula.
Old 06-01-2010, 01:17 PM
decent fellow decent fellow is offline
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Default Case Conferences

My first Case Conference is scheduled for June 28. I am the Applicant Father, self-representing, and I applied to get Child Support payments reduced to "straight offset" method of calculation to reflect the Shared Custody regime.

She would not agree to this a couple years ago.... at that time she would only let me have my daughter over 40% of the time if I did not reduce the child support to straight offset. I obviously didn't like her approach, but what is a parent going to do... you want to spend as much time as possible with your children. Since that day, I've always felt like I've been BLACKMAILED.

Anyway, our case is pretty straightforward, as you can see above. A couple questions:

1. When do I need to have my CC brief served and filed by? June 21? When does the Respondant side serve me their CC brief?
2. When do I need to confirm the CC date by?
3. Her lawyer wants me to meet with them on June 23 to see if we can hammer out a settlement... I think this seems like a reasonable thing to do, particularly as I had already sent them a formal offer to settle last month (wish they had suggested this much earlier though).
4. Any thoughts on how this would go? Of course, the Respondant's side says that they won't budge. Other lawyers I have talked to at the court house agree with me in that I should only be paying CS based on "straight offset" when sharing custody.

Any thoughts? Much appreciated.
Old 11-15-2011, 01:59 AM
Beachbum7079 Beachbum7079 is offline
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Sorry, I would like to add this even know it is an old thread.

Kougioumitzidis v. Fontana is a 2007 decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. This case deals with imputing income to the payor of Child Support as well as the consultation process involved in incurring section 7 expenses. In this case, the Court examined all of the father’s sources of income, including all of his employment benefits. Such employment benefits included the use of a car, including insurance and gasoline allowance, as well as the opportunity to write off personal expenses through the business. While this information was evidence of what the father actually earned on an annual basis, the mother adduced no similar evidence showing that the father lived a lifestyle that exceeded his income. Had the mother been able to prove this fact, this would have been a platform from which the Court could impute a greater income to him. As such, this case illustrates the importance of sufficient evidence when attempting to impute additional income to the payor spouse.

In terms of the issue of section 7 expenses, the mother had enrolled the children in a Montessori School and sought reimbursement from the father for his proportionate share of this expense. The Court found that the mother made this decision unilaterally and without consultation with father. Additionally, there was a previous Court Order in the matter requiring any party seeking to incur section 7 expenses to bring a Motion in this regard. Based on the foregoing, the Court absolved the father of any responsibility for the Montessori School tuition. This case illustrates the need for the party seeking to incur a section 7 expense to give the other parent reasonable notice of the said expense, as well as an opportunity to agree or disagree with same. Parties’ who fail to do this risk bearing the cost of the expense in its entirety.
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