Child Support: Distinguishing Between the Table Amount & Section 7 Expenses

Today, we'll be discussing whether the purchase of laptops and/or mobile phones for children should be covered by Table support.

Hello, my name is Andrew Feldstein and I am the founder of Feldstein Family Law Group. Today I will be discussing the issue of child support with respect to the difference between Table child support and Section 7 expenses. In particular, I will be discussing the purchase of laptops and/or mobile phones for children and whether such purchases should be covered by Table support or if such purchases should be considered a special and/or extraordinary expense.

The classification of what may be considered a special and/or extraordinary expense is dynamic and depends on the income of the parties. That is, an expense that may be considered a special and/or extraordinary expense for a middle-class earning spouse may be covered by the Table child support where the family earns a significant income. This distinction in classification is not arbitrary and is decided on a case-by-case basis.

The reasoning underlying this difference is because of the amount of child support already being paid. A court may decide that the purchase of a laptop or a cellphone for a child is covered by the Table amount of child support being paid by the payor spouse. This could be the case if such a purchase is not extraordinary based on the total income of the family.

For example, in a case called Hewat, the court held that normal extracurricular sports, such as karate, soccer and hockey, were not to be considered extraordinary expense after considering the family situation. In another case called Hugel and I hope I pronounced that properly, the court held that some of the expenses claimed by the wife were not extraordinary as similarly placed families commonly incurred such expenses and they were included in the Table amount.

Thus, the purchase of a cell phone or laptop for a child may be considered a special and/or extraordinary expense in certain families but may be covered by the Table amount of child support paid by a spouse in other situations.

What does that mean to you, the person who is watching this right now? In a simple way it means the more money that’s in the family, the more items that are included in the Table child support because these additional expenses would not be extraordinary for that particular family. The lower the income, the greater the expenses are that would be considered extraordinary for a family.

If you have further questions regarding child support, please contact us online or call us at (905) 581-7222 to book a consultation. Thank you.

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