WHAT EXACTLY IS CHILD SUPPORT?

Whether you are being asked to pay child support or are seeking child support, it is important to know exactly what constitutes child support. 

Child support is an ongoing periodic payment made by you or received by you for the financial benefit of your child. 

In British Columbia, child support is made up of two components:

1.Table Amount of Child Support

The first component of child support is a fixed amount that is paid monthly by you or received by you as set out in the child support tables in the Child Support Guidelines.  The Table Amount of Child Support is to cover shelter, food, and day to day living expenses of your child.  The quantum of Table Amount of Child Support that is payable by you or received by you is determined by line 150 of yours or the other parent’s T1 Tax Return of the previous year.  Sometimes, where income has fluctuated wildly, the court will take an average of yours or the other parent’s last 3 year’s income as set out in the payor’s line 150. 

2. Special or Extraordinary Expenses

In addition to the Table Amount of Child Support above, you may be required to pay or entitled to claim expenses provided such expenses are necessary in relation to your child’s best interests and the reasonableness of the expenses in light of your income and the income of your child’s other parent, and how you and the other parent spent money prior to separation.  Special or Extraordinary Expenses are usually not fixed and are shared between you and your ex in proportion to your respective incomes.  Special or Extraordinary Expenses include

  1.  child care expenses, medical or dental insurance premiums for your child;
  2.  out of pocket medical expenses that exceed $100 annually including orthodontics, glasses, professional counselling, speech therapy, prescription drugs, hearing aids;
  3. primary or secondary school educational expenses or any other educational expenses including tutoring that meet the child’s particular needs;
  4. expenses for post-secondary education; and
  5. expenses for extracurricular activities. 

The list above is not comprehensive and the courts have allowed claims for expenses that do not strictly fall within the list above and have denied claims even when such expenses fall within that list.  An experienced family lawyer can advise you whether a court will allow or deny a particular claim for a Special or Extraordinary Expense. 

 If you are being asked to pay or are seeking to claim child support, consult Vancouver & Burnaby Family Law and Child Support lawyer Andrew Rebane at Resolutions Law Corporation, Burnaby, British Columbia andrew@resolutionslawcorp.com or 778-372-7107