When people think of child support, they often think about what’s called the table amount. The table amount covers day-to-day expenses like food, shelter, clothing, and most extra-curricular activities.
However, you can sometimes expect a higher child support payment for one-time or special expenses. They can include some extra-curricular activities, medical treatments, and childcare costs.
Not all extra-curricular expenses will result in a higher child support payment. It is only when the courts consider that extra-curricular expense to be extraordinary will a higher support payment occur.
What is an extraordinary expense?
Unfortunately there is no clear answer to this question. What it means to be extraordinary is determined on a case-by-case basis. It requires knowing both parents’ incomes, the size of the expenses, and also how it fits into a consideration of the child’s best interests.
For example, if your child is enrolled with specialty swimming clubs in preparation for the Commonwealth games, then those swimming costs are likely to be considered extraordinary expense. However, introductory community swim lessons are unlikely to be considered extraordinary expenses.
What does this mean for you?
As a rule of thumb, relatively inexpensive activities like swimming, soccer, gymnastics and dance lessons are less likely to be considered extraordinary expenses. More expensive activities, like golf or hockey, have a higher likelihood of being considered extraordinary expenses.
What may be extraordinary for somebody else may not be extraordinary for you. This is a question that can only be answered on an individual basis. If you’re curious about whether you have an extraordinary extra-curricular expense on your hands, then we recommend speaking with one of our lawyers.