Does child support cover educational and extracurricular expenses?

Does child support cover educational and extracurricular expenses?

Yes, child support in Canada can cover these extracurricular costs. There are two types of child support under the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the “FCSGs”): 

  1. Regular Monthly Support - also known as section 3 child support. This is the standard monthly payment.
  2. Special or Extraordinary Expenses – also known as section 7 expenses, these cover additional costs for children, such as:
  • Extracurricular activities like swimming, soccer, or piano lessons.
  • Education related costs like tuition and field trips.
  • Medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance.

While education related costs and necessary medical and dental expenses are usually covered, it may be more difficult to collect a portion of the cost related to extracurricular activities under section 7 of the FCSGs. 

The court will evaluate whether expenses are covered under section 7 by deciding whether: 
  1. The expenses exceed those that the requesting parent can reasonably cover, or
  2. The expenses are considered extraordinary taking into account: 
  • the amount of the expense in relation to the income of the requesting spouse
  • the nature and number of educational programs and extracurricular activities
  • any special needs or talents of the children
  • the overall cost of the programs and activities
  • any other similar factor the court considers relevant

These extra costs are typically shared proportionately between both parents, but it may depend on their overall financial situation.