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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 06-05-2022, 11:06 AM
c800957276 c800957276 is offline
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Default Recognizing expenses in lieu of child support

Hi. I haven't posted here in years, but financial issues came up, again.

We settled with my ex in November 2016. We have adjusted child support twice based on my income from the previous year, and the last adjustment was in 2018. Since then, my ex did not ask for anything more.

Our son is now 17 years old. Since he was 15, I have been paying for his cell phone plan, and giving him an allowance of $100 monthly. I am not the type of parent to deny him anything he needs financially, so he gets his laptop, pocket money and whatever he reasonably needs on top of his allowance. My ex refused to share the cost of cell phone so I did not even bother, and she does not give him an allowance, For me, those are just expenses I am accustomed to. If he needs something I give him, and I don't ask my ex.

Two months ago I got served with papers asking for my financial disclosure. My income was around 90K in 2017, and is about 104K now. I provided T4s and NOAs and her lawyer said "thank you, have a nice life"; however, I got something in my email yesterday that she thinks I owe her about $14,000 since 2018.

My questions:
- Can my expenses for cell phone and allowance of about $200 total monthly since 2015 be "attributable" to child support?
- An acquaintance mentioned that he knew someone that had got their extra expenses "recognized" and counted towards child support by a judge. If this possible? Does anyone know of any precedent, case law that I can refer to?

I am currently paying about $800 monthly, and the adjusted support should be about $1000 monthly. So it would seem that my spending about $200 monthly directly on my son would make up the child support to be adjusted.

This is entirely on me, I did not remind her to adjust, but who would, really? I am not one of those parents that gets in financial battles over who pays what, etc. But I also don't want to be taken for a fool and a money bag.

Also, I was out of work between 2015 and late 2017 and while I only had a settlement from my employer and EI for a period of time, I was still paying her over $3000 in both child and spousal support. She refused to adjust at that time, and I got dried up financially that I had to file a consumer proposal in 2016.

With this in mind, since she refused to adjust back then and I "overpaid" child support during my unemployment, can this be considered against what she claims I owe her currently? She does not collect spousal support since late 2016.

Your comments will be sincerely appreciated.
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Old 06-05-2022, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c800957276 View Post
- Can my expenses for cell phone and allowance of about $200 total monthly since 2015 be "attributable" to child support?
Generally speaking, no.

The custodial parent gets to decide how the money is spent. You don't get to decide for her.

If you have special parenting time expenses (such as perhaps you live very far away and need to take a flight to see your child) then that could be considered as an expense that might reduce child support.


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An acquaintance mentioned that he knew someone that had got their extra expenses "recognized" and counted towards child support by a judge. If this possible? Does anyone know of any precedent, case law that I can refer to?
I have never seen that, other than parenting time expenses. Another possibility might be if you were covering more than your share of S7 expenses, assuming that you ex agreed that those expenses should be incurred. So maybe your kid is in elite hockey and you are covering the entire expense... that might matter.

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Also, I was out of work between 2015 and late 2017 and while I only had a settlement from my employer and EI for a period of time, I was still paying her over $3000 in both child and spousal support. She refused to adjust at that time, and I got dried up financially that I had to file a consumer proposal in 2016.
You should have gone to court and had your support levels adjusted. You don't get retroactive credit for foolishly not doing so. (Also, being out of work often doesn't result in reduced support levels, because the courts could not care less about your personal issues if you are a non-custodial parent).

Offhand, you are thinking about what is "fair" vs what is "legal". Fair is not a thing in family law. Maybe it is fair that you should get credit for covering the cellphone, but you won't. Maybe it is fair that you should be credited for overpayments made 7 years ago, but you won't be.

Getting credit for allowance is a complete non-starter. That's like paying child support to the kid instead of the parent, which for obvious reasons is never considered to be a reasonable course of action.

The good news is that you are almost at the end of the road. Once your kid graduates or drops out of university, you are done. I wouldn't fight this. Look up how much support you should be paying on the tables, and pay it.
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Old 06-05-2022, 11:48 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Yes you have to adjust support and you should go back and look at what you owe and offer to pay it in installments. It is BOTH parents responsibilities to update. Just because she doesnt ask doesnt mean it shouldnt be adjusted.

Anything you give your son over and above support is a gift not an expense or additional support. What you pay her is for his living expenses. It may not even cover his costs let alone an allowance.

Dont listen to friends and acquaintances. They arent lawyers.
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Old 06-05-2022, 11:54 AM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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Your arguments.

1.Payment of extra s7. Do you have receipts for these expenses and do you have proof that you asked your ex to contribute and she denied? If you don’t have any such evidence to back up your claims your chances in court would be close to zero. Plus allowance does not count as s7 and you don’t get to decide what your ex spends the cs on.

2. Your decreased income. Do you have evidence/documentation to back up your claim? Even if you do, your chances are not great,

3. Are you going to self/rep or hire a lawyer? If you are going to hire a lawyer do a costs/benefit analysis of this situation. If she is saying you owe $14,000, legal fees can equal or exceed this amount in a very short period of time. So even if you have a strong case and do eventually win, you will actually lose because you have paid more in legal fees.Let’s say you win and after a year or more of back and forth between lawyers, a case conference or two snd a motion, it has cost you $25,000 in legal fees. You win at the motion. You may or may not be awarded costs but you will not be awarded 100% of your costs. You will be lucky to have been awarded 50% of your costs. So that would be only 12,500 your ex owes you. Next you have the fun part of collecting your money from your ex, plus you are 12,500 out of pocket even if your ex pays you the costs.

Don’t forget that you will not be coming to court with clean hands. You did not seek to lower cs and ss when your income decreased, you did not seek to increase it when your income increased and you did not seek an order to have your ex pay towards the other s7 expenses. These things will be taken into consideration by a judge and your chances of success are low and as I demonstrated above, success for you may actually be defeat when you factor in the legal costs.

What you may wish to do is present your side of the argument in writing to her lawyer along with an offer to settle. If she does not accept your offer you will need to decide whether it’s worth going to court over or not, even if you are right.

Last edited by Stillbreathing; 06-05-2022 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 06-05-2022, 01:35 PM
c800957276 c800957276 is offline
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I did seek to lower CS and SS and we filed a motion, etc. She still did not agree and neither did the judge, which was the most irreverently tyrannical issue I had experienced up until then. My new wife (just in case someone thinks my ex and I got divorced from "cheating", no, I met my wife three years after my ex and I separated) and I were expecting twins, one died in utero, my wife was not well emotionally after that and just took her three months maternity, and I took the nine months parental leave. During that time, I got terminated from my job. My income was cut in 1/3 taking into account my settlement and EI over the two years I did not work (not for lack of trying, I went through over 40 interviews) and I still had to pay through my nose. At the end of the day, the judge said "nobody told you to have another kid"... fucker.
I get it, "first family first", etc etc etc. But that was unjust. Anyway, water under the bridge now. I am going to bring this up to date but I wanted to check if there were any avenues I could explore before.
Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 06-05-2022, 01:45 PM
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You can ask for anything you want, just be prepared not to get it. Is it considered a valid contribution to CS for cell phones and allowance? Not typically, but you can always ask in hopes they would agree.

A judge already ruled that you were not overpaying support previously, it's highly unlikely they would even consider adjusting now because of it, especially since it's been so long. Again, you can always ask.

I would caution against asking for too many items that would be considered unreasonable or frivolous, as it's likely yo make you look like you're being petty about payimg child support.
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Old 06-05-2022, 01:45 PM
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You can ask for anything you want, just be prepared not to get it. Is it considered a valid contribution to CS for cell phones and allowance? Not typically, but you can always ask in hopes they would agree.

A judge already ruled that you were not overpaying support previously, it's highly unlikely they would even consider adjusting now because of it, especially since it's been so long. Again, you can always ask.

I would caution against asking for too many items that would be considered unreasonable or frivolous, as it's likely yo make you look like you're being petty about payimg child support.
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