How are section 7 expenses split?
As a Calgary divorce lawyer, one of the questions I am frequently asked by clients is: How are section 7 expenses split between the parties?
The answer to that question is relatively straightforward: Usually, they are split in direct proportion to the parties' incomes.
Unlike base child support, section 7 child support does not depend upon the parenting schedule that the parties are using. To determine base child support, the incomes of the parties, and the parenting/access regime the parties are using, must be considered. For the vast majority of claims for section 7 expenses, only the incomes of the parties is relevant. Custody, access and parenting are not relevant.
If, for example, the parties have the same income, they will share section 7 expenses on a 50/50 basis. If one of the party earns double the income of the other party, the section 7 expenses will be split on a 2/3 / 1/3 basis.
Also, the parties the parties are only responsible to share the "net" expense, not the "gross" expense. Family lawyers have software that is able to take account of the reduction to a party's taxable income that may arise if that party makes a claim for that expense when filing their taxes. For example, child care expenses.
Once a child reaches the age of 18, calculation of the parties' liability for section 7 expenses becomes a little more complicated as the Court will consider what contribution, if any, the child should make towards the expense. While such a consideration should also be made for children under the age of 18, it is rare for the Court to do so.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact me on 403-538-2105, or send an email to me using this email address.