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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85226
Experience:  Lawyer
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Drivers Ed as section 7 expense In Ontario, I am the Payor

Resolved Question:

Driver's Ed as section 7 expense?? In Ontario, I am the Payor of Child support. My share of extraordinary expenses are 60% (based on Child Support Guidelines). My ex has asked me to pay my portion of towards Driver's ed for the Child. I am declaring that this expense based on our incomes is NOT an extraordinary expense, but an ordinary expense for an extracurricular activity. Am I being unreasonable? I will ad that he did not inform me/nor ask me to contribute to this prior to his registering the child for the said expense. It was my suggestion to have the child contribute to this expense, and the remainder be shared at 50%....
Comments or criticisms??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
debra thal :

How old is the child?

Does he attend school full-time during the school year?

debra thal :

How much is it?

Customer :

17, full-time student with a part time job; $870 one time fee;

debra thal :

There is no absolute or right answer in this case.

Generally, driver's ed classes are considered to fall within the list of common section 7 expenses.

It's not common for a Court to order that a minor child contribute to these types of expenses at all. That changes a bit once the child is in post-secondary school and an adult child of the marriage.

As well, being realistic you are talking about $87 and so it's probably better to balance that amount with the pros and cons of entering into some battle with the other parent and the kid.

However, what is important here is that the child or the other parent should have discussed this with you before because that is supposed to be how section 7 expenses work.

That's really the bigger issue here.

Perhaps you can use this incident to firm up with the other parent the fact that from here on in you must be consulted if you are being expected to pay.

Customer :

Firstly, the amount is $870.00 one time fee, not $87.00; I have already discussed the issue of further expenses as such be shared at 50/50.

Customer :

I have already reminded him of the fact that I need to be consulted prior to enrolling in such things and I am more than willing to contribute to these expenses within reason; I might add that it was definitely short notice, as well as the other upcoming expenses must be agreed upon with me (within reason) before I accept to pay any amount.

debra thal :

I was talking about the 10% that you are arguing not the full amount.

debra thal :

That sounds like a good position on your part.

Customer :

where did you get the 10% from...

debra thal :

*arguing about

Customer :

what is that based upon?

debra thal :

You said you normally pay 60% but this time the child would pay 10%.

debra thal :

So, I am talking about the 10% the child has to pay.

debra thal :

The you would split the difference.

debra thal :


Normally you would pay $522.

Customer :

no, the full amount is $870, he is requesting me to pay the %60 of the total

Customer :

that is correct

debra thal :

I understand.

Let me set my thought process out. It will take a minute or two.

Customer :

but my suggestion is for my daught to contribute "whatever amount" towards this expense, he does not want her to contribute

debra thal :

Sorry. I thought you had said the child would pay 10%. I am typing too quickly.

debra thal :

I read it as if you were paying 50% instead of 60%.

Customer :

that is okay...I know all about typing too quickly

debra thal :

In any event, the Court will not order the child to pay at all if it went that far.

But, the other parent is the one who should be asking you really, not the child.

The child is not an adult and shouldn't really be involved in this type of argument as it places the child in the middle and makes the child mad at both parents in the end.

debra thal :

The reason why this issue is so important is that next year, if the child is going away to school the expenses will be significant and you aren't a bank.

Customer :

I completely agree with that comment, however he does "cc" all emails/correspondence to the child therefore making me look to be the "bad parent"; I will certainly agree to the future expenses as stated in the final court order divorce with regards XXXXX XXXXX secondary ed.

Customer :

thank you again, I am NOT the bank machine as he thinks I am... My next correspondence to him will include that fact as well as the fact that my daughter NOT be included in the correspondence between him and I.

debra thal :

That makes sense.

debra thal :

I hope you can resolve this soon.

Customer :

yup...me too. I have a strong feeling that this will be a long, expensive journey on my behalf.

Customer :

From your experience, do you think that I am being unreasonable with regards XXXXX XXXXX paying for this expense at this time, but all further extra ORDINARY expenses be shared 50/50

debra thal :

No.

If I were you I would pay as all kids have to take driver's ed and the price is less than what a lot of people pay.

And, I don't think you can make a third category of expenses.

There are regular expenses and he has to pay them from the child support you provide on a monthly basis.

Then there are special expenses and you have to pay 60% of them.

There is no reason for you to split other expenses and if you want to help out your daughter further that is voluntary and should not be agreed upon in advance.

And, when your child is at school next year you may want to give her extra money, beyond what you have to pay, and that can go directly to her so long as it's apart from what you are required to pay.

Customer :

I disagree with regards XXXXX XXXXX children have to take driver's ed"; from my experience, most kids contribute towards this expense and I never took driver's ed. It is not mandatory, it is optional. It may be beneficial to the child as well as us parents, just as putting a child in swimming lessons every year.

Customer :

My final court order does state that all extraordinary expense shall be agreed upon before the expense has been paid for; as well as the expenses for post secondary education.

debra thal :

Actually, for many years now the law has been that insurance companies can charge a stiff premium if the child doesn't take driver's ed from a licenced school that provides for a set amount of inclass and on the road training. It's unheard of, for this reason, for kids not to take driver's ed. It doesn't happen any more.

debra thal :

You can discuss this with your daughter and she will tell you.

Her school will be certified with the government and she will be placed into the central system when she graduates from the class and passes a class test.

Customer :

My argument still stands that he should have asked me prior to the enrollment of this. The insurance cost will not be paid by me either; to clarify, I do not have my driver's licence at all. I chose not to drive.

debra thal :

I see.

You are correct that she doesn't have to learn to drive.

For sure he should have asked you.

debra thal :

No, you would not have to pay the insurance. My point was explaining why all kids take driver's ed, who want to learn to drive.

Customer :

I see; my concern is that this situation will set grounds for all other ordinary expenses that he may claim, as well he has a history of using me as a bank machine~so does my daughter for that matter-although I have put my foot down with her while she was in my custody. Does it make a difference that the child lives primarily with my ex for 90% of the time (seeing that the child lives aboutXXXXXfrom me). could that be taken into account the amount paid to the ex with regards XXXXX XXXXX ordinary expenses?

debra thal :

No.

The child support is set based on the guidelines and so long as the child is with the non-paying parent for over 60% of the time, the guidelines prevail for the monthly basic support.

Then section 7 are split based on respective incomes as you likely know.

Customer :

I am still hanging on this issue...

Customer :

I have been given an example from my ex: "Basically, Driver’s ed, like all extraordinary expenses, are considered such based on the means of the parents. Where a parent is paying $2500 a month in child support ($30 000 a year) this would leave a one time payment of $900 for driver’s ed as a small non-descript expense. However, where child support is $500 a month ($6 000 per year) the driver’s ed is essentially 1.5 months worth of payments and 17% of the annual child support amount. This leaves the driver’s ed as an extraordinary expense."

debra thal :

I understand that and I don't know your facts of course and cannot analyze your financial situation. I can only speak from experience and can say that from my experience even where the support is substantial generally driver's ed is considered to be a section 7 expense.

That's not always the case but it my experience it usually is.

Customer :

alright. thank you for your opinion

Customer :

although I disagree... :-(

debra thal :

I know.

I've been the client as well as the lawyer and I understand fully how you feel.

It's very difficult, especially when there are kids.

debra thal :

Good luck.

debra thal :

If were are done for now please click accept so that I can receive credit for providing you with this information.

Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 85226
Experience: Lawyer
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