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Posts from the ‘Special Needs Kids’ Category

Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers’ First Annual Holiday Toy Drive

Poster for Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers' Toy Drive


Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers are pleased to announce the start of their First Annual Holiday Toy Drive. This year the drive will be supporting Bethesda House located in the Durham Region and A Place Called Home located in The City of Kawartha Lakes.

New, unwrapped gift donations can be made in the Brooklin office for the Bethesda House. They have informed us of the lack of gifts for children 13-17 years of age. Some gift suggestions for them include:

  • Sports equipment
  • Art supplies
  • Games
  • Movie passes and gift cards
  • Purses and backpacks
  • Make-up, lotion, perfume
  • Hats and scarves

The Lindsay office is accepting new, unwrapped gifts to be donated for A Place Called Home. There is no recommended age for donations for this organization.

If you wish to donate to the toy drive this year, it will be running from November 1, 2018 through to December 7, 2018. You may drop by with your donation in the Brooklin or Lindsay office any time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday to Friday. For further details, feel free to give our office a call at 905-655-6335.

Child Support for Special Needs Kids


Child Support for Special Needs Kids

As I have written in previous articles, under Ontario law every parent has an obligation to financially support his or her child. The extent and duration of this child support obligation will depend on various factors, primary among being the needs and best interests of the child.

Where a child has special needs, it is particularly important that parents fulfill that duty, and situations of separation or divorce can bring the question of the proper allocation of responsibility to the forefront.

Under Ontario’s Family Law Act and Child Support Guidelines, specific provisions exist to cover “special or extraordinary expenses”. The Guidelines state that a court, on the request of either parent, may provide for an amount to cover any or all of certain specific expenses, namely:

Health-related expenses. Expenses under this heading must exceed any insurance reimbursement by at least $100 per year. By legislation, these expenses specifically include:

• orthodontic treatment

• professional counseling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person

• physiotherapy

• occupational therapy

• speech therapy

• prescription drugs

• hearing aids

• glasses and contact lenses.

Certain educational programs. This heading covers those “extraordinary” expenses that relate to primary or secondary school education, or are in relation to any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs.
Extracurricular activities. This heading covers extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities in which the child is involved.

Note that in this context, the question of what are “extraordinary expenses” is not necessarily left to the parents’ discretion – rather, these are amounts that are considered by the court to be appropriate, taking into account various factors which expressly include “any special needs … of the child” and other similar factors that the court considers relevant.

In all cases, the amount a court can order in this manner will depend on the child’s best interests, and the reasonableness of the expense in relation to the parents’ ability to pay, plus the parents spending patterns during the time they lived together.

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders.  To learn more visit us at Russell

So what are thoughts and comments about child support for special needs kids?  Please post them here.