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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  
Old 02-11-2015, 12:24 AM
momofonegreatboy momofonegreatboy is offline
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Default competitive sports and special expenses

Hi!
Anyone out there with kids in competitive sports? My ex is stating that he will not pay his s.7 share of team fees as it does not fall under special expenses. He will only agree to paying 50%. Our son has been playing hockey since he was three. We have have been paying our proportioned shares for the last two years now. Can he insist on a 50/50 split on team fees/registration (just to give you an idea, competitive hockey this year was $2200 + $100 for try outs and Lacrosse $700)?He is also insisting that his share is 50/50 on hockey equipment as well. His S.7 share is 63%. I will struggle financially should I have to pay 50% for sports come 2015-2016 season.


I'm looking to self represent in the next few months for a number of issues. I'd like to ask that he pays his s.7 share on the items listed above. Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:59 AM
stripes stripes is offline
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What does your agreement say? In most cases, both parents have to agree to S7 expenses prior to those expenses being incurred. If so, your ex has the right to say he does not agree to the expense. Competitive sports are not an essential like health expenses or child care. Also, if you are receiving full table child support from your ex, he may have a case for saying that these activities should be covered by the CS he pays.

I know there are cases where one parent has gone to court successfully to force the other parent to pay for sports, but in your case, where you're talking about the difference between Dad paying 50% of the cost or paying 63%, that seems pointless.

If the costs of the activities are causing financial strain, it may be that competitive hockey plus competitive lacrosse plus all the associated equipment is simply too expensive for your son to continue. He may need to make a choice as to which (affordable) sport he continues with. Expensive team sports are not a necessity for kids.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:34 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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How old is the child now? You say they've played hockey since they were 3, obviously that was recreational back then. How long has the child been in competitive hockey?

Before equipment, you are looking at a difference of $390, or $32.50 a month for the year. It isn't a drastic difference. It is more likely that it would cost you more in legal fees to obtain than it would cost you to just eat the difference.

My child is in competitive dance. I believe I make slightly more than my ex, maybe $8k-$10k or so. We split everything 50/50. We do this because it is easier for her to pay a little more each month and recoup the difference come tax time (as she claims the write-off) than it is to have to figure out what the after tax cost is each year. It evens it out very closely for us.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:35 PM
momofonegreatboy momofonegreatboy is offline
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Thanks. We don't have an aggreement on paper. By going through our lawyers two years ago, they set the special expenses based on our salaries (ex almost doubles my salary) and since then ex has been paying his share of S.7 when it came to competitive sports, including hockey, Lacrosse and all equipment. I should also state that we do the same with winterwear/essentials for our son (winter coat/boots/ snow pants/school shoes ect) and split this with a 63%/37%. Our son is nine so he's been in comp hockey for 1yr how and going into 2nd yr comp Lacrosse. Dad now wants to do 50/50 split for all sports moving forward as well as equipment and clothing essentials. Dad also has a company vehicule with company gas card so driving to rinks in and out of the city has no financial implication for him. You're right @hammerdad, it would only be a difference of $390 however, I'm still faced with an equal split for equipment costs and clothing essentials. If I sugget to cut back to 1 sport, my son will be disappointed and its a given that dad will infom son to fully blame mom.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:53 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Our son has been playing hockey since he was three.
Division of hockey matters. Under Hockey Canada there are two types of "hockey" associations / groupings. Those that fall under "recreational" and the others that fall under "competitive" hockey.

Recreational would be house league programs. To give you an example this would be any team registered to one of the eight associations under the Mississauga Hockey League (MHL). Even in their "A" level programs. Under the GHTL the MHL is registered as "recreational" level hockey.

What you desribe sounds like a standard "A" or "red" level team budget/registration for any MHL team out there. If your player is in a competative registered program (e.g. Mississauga Warriors AA/AAA, Jets, Braves, et all...) the registration and team budgets would be nearly double that. If your player is playing for the Toronto Nationals it would be SIGNIFICANTLY higher to play on their AA/AAA program teams.

The numbers you are providing generally don't fall into the costs that "competitive" players face in southern Ontario for registration. \

The courts are mixed on sports programs and who should pay. Generally they are reluctant to order them unless the child demonstrates at a "gifted" level. 99.9% of AAA hockey players will not be drafted nor will they make it to any professional level of hockey. So if you are one of the 0.1% parents you may have a case but, your yearly hockey expenses would be 35,000+ generally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
We have have been paying our proportioned shares for the last two years now. Can he insist on a 50/50 split on team fees/registration (just to give you an idea, competitive hockey this year was $2200 + $100 for try outs and Lacrosse $700)?
If you have no agreement or a court order the other parent can refuse to pay any of the expense and is well within their right to do so. I would not recommend going to court over such small funds. The risk is way too high on a costs order should you lose.

Even if you "self represent" you may be responsible for paying the other party's costs and that could well be in the $15,000 range if the other parent retains a top tier lawyer and is successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
He is also insisting that his share is 50/50 on hockey equipment as well. His S.7 share is 63%. I will struggle financially should I have to pay 50% for sports come 2015-2016 season.
Then maybe hockey isn't an appropriate activity. Or you should seek better employment? You are talking about a 13% difference from 50% to 63%.

If the cost to equip your player for a season is say 2500 (which is HIGH!) you are talking about 1250 (50%) versus 1575 (63%) or a difference of 325$. If that is going to cause you significant financial difficulty (325$) then you should really re-think what a 15,000 cost order might do to your finances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
I'm looking to self represent in the next few months for a number of issues. I'd like to ask that he pays his s.7 share on the items listed above. Thanks.
I don't think you will be very successful because you are arguing about fractions of dollars on low values. Judges hate penny wise and pound foolish litigants. You would incur court costs and force the other party to spend possibly 10's of thousands in legals to recoup $325?

Remember this is how justices will view your argument. They won't care about your "emotional argument" about how "broke" you will be.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
I should also state that we do the same with winterwear/essentials for our son (winter coat/boots/ snow pants/school shoes ect) and split this with a 63%/37%.
These are not s.7 expenses and the other parent should stop paying this now. Your claim will be defeated for these as s.7 and you will be forced to pay costs for even requesting this of the court. You are warned.

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Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Our son is nine so he's been in comp hockey for 1yr how and going into 2nd yr comp Lacrosse.
Your player I suspect plays Minor Atom "A" or "Red" level based on the age and costs you outlined. This is neither special nor extraordinary in any way shape or form. Just to warn you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Dad now wants to do 50/50 split for all sports moving forward as well as equipment and clothing essentials.
Well, dad can simply say he isn't going to pay at all. You should be happy to get half. Most parents with players in hockey whom are separate and divorce just suck up and pay the full bill as to not create chaos / nickel and dime things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Dad also has a company vehicle with company gas card so driving to rinks in and out of the city has no financial implication for him.
No one cares and a judge will care less. By even stating this you are just demonstrating that you are jealous. What is provided to the other parent in their employment is recorded on their income tax and if it impacts their 150 gross income you are getting your cut through child support.

Use this argument and a judge will just see how petty you truly are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
You're right @hammerdad, it would only be a difference of $390 however, I'm still faced with an equal split for equipment costs and clothing essentials. If I sugget to cut back to 1 sport, my son will be disappointed and its a given that dad will infom son to fully blame mom.
Clothing are "essentials" as you stated and they are not "special" nor are they "extraordinary". YOU NEED TO TALK TO A LAWYER.

Sorry to say, maybe you should cut back to 1 sport if you are unable to properly support your son. As an "equal" parent you should contribute equally to the best of your ability. Most children don't get to play hockey let alone 2 organized sports.

First world problems...

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:39 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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As Tayken said, clothing and the like are not s7 expenses. The costs associated with clothing etc. are covered under c/s (although in some share custody regimes they split the cost of clothing, but I can't tell if you and your ex share custody).

As for your ex's means, and the car etc., it is irrelevant. The fact is that competitive hockey is fairly new, and if your ex protested, it would likely be found as expendable. If the child was in competitive during your marriage you may have argument that the child should continue. But with only 1 season under the child's belt, you haven't established the pattern. With the cost being so much to you that any increase would make it tight, I may recommend only doing rec hockey, and focus on competitive lacrosse until you finances allow for more flexibility.

Also, if you have custody over 60% of the time, that means only you can make claims in relation to the cost of the activities (ie. child activity tax credits). You can claim unto $1000 this year I believe. That would give the average household a return of about $175-$225. This amount should come off the top of the costs of the activity, as you are to split the actual out of pocket amount. That is why my ex and I do 50/50, as it saves her cutting me a cheque at tax time or trying to figure out how much she may get back, then deducting it off the top.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:20 PM
stripes stripes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Thanks. We don't have an aggreement on paper. By going through our lawyers two years ago, they set the special expenses based on our salaries (ex almost doubles my salary) and since then ex has been paying his share of S.7 when it came to competitive sports, including hockey, Lacrosse and all equipment. I should also state that we do the same with winterwear/essentials for our son (winter coat/boots/ snow pants/school shoes ect) and split this with a 63%/37%. Our son is nine so he's been in comp hockey for 1yr how and going into 2nd yr comp Lacrosse. Dad now wants to do 50/50 split for all sports moving forward as well as equipment and clothing essentials. Dad also has a company vehicule with company gas card so driving to rinks in and out of the city has no financial implication for him. You're right @hammerdad, it would only be a difference of $390 however, I'm still faced with an equal split for equipment costs and clothing essentials. If I sugget to cut back to 1 sport, my son will be disappointed and its a given that dad will infom son to fully blame mom.

This doesn't have to happen (especially if Kid is residing primarily with Mom). Kid is old enough that Mom can explain costs to him. Hockey costs $xxx, lacrosse costs $yyy, together they are too expensive, so it's time to choose which one he would like to continue with. This can be done without blaming either parent ("your father/mother doesn't want to pay ...."). It's just like his allowance - you only have $5, so you have to choose between two toys, you can't afford to buy both. This is just a matter of living within one's means.

If Dad is determined to tell Kid that it's Mom's fault, Mom can't control that, but she can give Kid helpful factual information.
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:19 PM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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Quote:
These are not s.7 expenses and the other parent should stop paying this now. Your claim will be defeated for these as s.7
Brief commentary on the above - parents that have equal (or near to equal) time will often split "big ticket" clothing expenses 50-50, and the clothing will be used by the child in both households. This is a practical solution parties can agree to, not necessarily one a judge will implement.

Quote:
a difference of 325$
Whether $325 yearly is worth the time and stress of course is a question that should be considered.

Quote:
You would incur court costs and force the other party to spend possibly 10's of thousands in legals to recoup $325?
Of course, whether the other side is willing to risk the money instead of ponying up $325 should also be considered.

Quote:
Your player I suspect plays Minor Atom "A" or "Red" level based on the age and costs you outlined. This is neither special nor extraordinary in any way shape or form.
Whether the expenses are special or extraordinary is determined by:

Quote:
Definition of “extraordinary expenses”

(1.1) For the purposes of paragraphs (1)(d) and (f), the term “extraordinary expenses” means

(a) expenses that exceed those that the spouse requesting an amount for the extraordinary expenses can reasonably cover, taking into account that spouse’s income and the amount that the spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate; or

(b) where paragraph (a) is not applicable, expenses that the court considers are extraordinary taking into account

(i) the amount of the expense in relation to the income of the spouse requesting the amount, including the amount that the spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate,

(ii) the nature and number of the educational programs and extracurricular activities,

(iii) any special needs and talents of the child or children,

(iv) the overall cost of the programs and activities, and

(v) any other similar factor that the court considers relevant.
source: CanLII - Federal Child Support Guidelines, SOR/97-175

In this family, are the expenses special or extraordinary? Maybe. It depends on income levels, support paid and the child's history. The fact that the expenses has been shared in proportion to income in the past would seem to be material.

Quote:
Clothing are "essentials" as you stated and they are not "special" nor are they "extraordinary".
Precisely.
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