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This case pertains to a father’s obligation to pay section 7 expenses.


The parties lived together from 2014 to 2017. Their daughter (“The Child”) was born in 2016.

In August 2022, the Applicant mother brought an Application seeking an order for child support, decision-making responsibility, and parenting time. The Court ordered that the Respondent father pay child support arrears in the amount of $10,941 and ongoing child support in the amount of $638 per month. The Applicant did not seek section 7 expenses.

The Applicant is now seeking an order for the Respondent to pay for retroactive section 7 expenses for the period of January 2020 to December 2023 and ongoing section 7 expenses for The Child. The total retroactive childcare costs were $7,053.38. The Applicant requests that this amount be shared equally.


  1. What amount should the father pay for arrears and ongoing section 7 childcare expenses?


The Court notes that there is a presumption under the Federal Child Support Guidelines (“CSG”) that parents will contribute to section 7 expenses in addition to child support. Generally, the expense is to be shared by the parent in proportion to their respective incomes. The Court notes that the CSG allows for the reduction of child support if there’s economic hardship. However, there is no corresponding provision for section 7 expenses.

The Respondent agrees that he should pay for childcare expenses, but he argues that he can’t afford to pay his full share because of his financial situation. Specifically, the Respondent is employed part-time, has student loans, has credit card loans, he is supporting his current partner’s 2 children, he is expecting another child with his partner, and his income decreased in 2023. Further, the Respondent is already obligated to pay child support arrears for The Child in the amount of $10,941 as well as ongoing child support.

The Court ruled that the responsibility of the Respondent father’s debts should not come at the expense of The Child or the Applicant. The Applicant is going to commence a paralegal program, so the Court determined that the Applicant is entitled to continue with her own education and develop her career just as the Respondent has. Further, the Respondent’s household income is considerably higher than the Applicant’s. Along with the Respondent’s part-time income, his current partner earned $72,000 as a nurse in 2022. The Court also noted that the Respondent and his partner are likely receiving the monthly Universal Child Tax Benefit for their 2 children.


The Court ruled that it is fair and reasonable that the section 7 expenses be attributed in accordance with the parties’ respective incomes, even though the Applicant is agreeable to sharing the expenses equally. The Court also determined that the section 7 arrears for 2023 through to February 2024 will be based on the parties’ 2022 incomes, along with the ongoing section 7 expenses.

However, the Court determined that once the parties file their 2023 income tax returns and share financial disclosure, they may agree to adjust the arrears amount for 2023 and the ongoing section 7 amount.