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What are special or extraordinary expenses?
Special or extraordinary expenses are childcare expenses that are not included in the basic monthly amounts of child support. These expenses are sometimes called section 7 expenses.
Child support is money paid by the parent that spends the least amount of time with the child to the parent who takes care of the child most of the time. It is used to help cover the costs of caring for the child.
The Child Support Guidelines and the Government of Canada's child support tables set basic monthly amounts of child support. The tables are based on the gross annual income of the payor parent and the number of children they have to support. There is a separate table for each province and territory.
The tables show the basic monthly amounts of child support, also called the table amount. The table amount pays for things like your child’s clothes, groceries, and school supplies.
Special or extraordinary expenses are extra expenses not covered in the table amount. These expenses may include:
- child care fees, such as daycare, to allow the parent who looks after the child to go to work or school
- the part of medical and dental insurance premiums the other parent pays to cover their child
- the child’s health expenses, such as orthodontics, prescriptions, eyeglasses, counselling, or hearing aids
- reasonable and extraordinary expenses for school or educational programs to meet the child’s particular needs, such as tutors or private school fees
- expenses for post-secondary education
- reasonable and extraordinary expenses for the child's extracurricular activities, such as competitive sports classes
These expenses must be reasonable and necessary. Steps 3 and 4 explain when an expense is reasonable or necessary.
There is no checklist to see if an expense is special or extraordinary. Every expense is decided based on your family’s financial situation. You and your partner can decide if an expense is special or extraordinary.
In most cases, both parents help pay for their child's special expenses based on their income. So, if both you and your partner make roughly the same amount of money, you divide the cost of special expenses equally.