Overlooked Special Or Extraordinary Expenses

A couple of issues that I deal with regularly are custody and access of children, and child support for children. What a lot of people overlook is that on top of child support, there are what are called “special or extraordinary expenses” or sometimes referred to as “section 7 expenses.”

These are expenses that are above and beyond day-to-day needs. Examples might be medical expenses not covered by a medical health plan, daycare or, eventually, college or university tuition.

Lawyers also help people understand the difference between custody and access. Custody deals with which of the parents, either one or together, will make the important decisions about their child(ren). Access refers to who can see the children, when, where will they live, what is the schedule, and how flexible it will be.

With regard to child support, many people assume that it stops at age 18. But that is not necessarily the case. It could go on for quite a bit longer past the age of 18 and we help explain that and help draft something to reflect what the law says.

Along with the various areas of law that family lawyers deal with, they are also aware of the many options available for resolving family law issues. Are you doing it through court? Are you doing it by negotiating a separation agreement, are you trying to mediate or arbitrate the issues? Are you using the collaborative law model? When you are in court, there are a lot of little procedures that you need to be aware of, such as timelines, what kind of documents to file, when to file, when to bring a motion to get a court order, and what a court order means. Lawyers can help you through all that.

We can definitely help you with a separation agreement. You do not want your former spouse coming back and making any claims against your property in the future, so you need to have properly worded releases in your separation agreement. A lawyer is there to give you information about your rights and obligations. And then, based on that information, you as an adult have a right to say, “Okay, this is what I’m prepared to agree to at the end of the day knowing that information.” A lawyer can help you sleep better at night knowing that whatever the agreement, you went into it fully understanding what was involved in pushing for more, accepting less, or doing something else.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with family law issues in York Region, Durham Region or Toronto, contact Feldstein Family Law Group for a consultation.

This article is taken from a February 25, 2009 interview with Sanja, Family Lawyer with Feldstein Family Law Group, a Toronto Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.