Estate & Family Law Blog

Gifted kid merits extra child support after divorce, says judge


When a man and a woman with a child separate, there are many decisions that need to be made. Among them are custody arrangements and support payments. Support payments after a divorce in British Columbia are based on the financial situations of both parents. There are sometimes special circumstances, however, in which additional funds may be requested. In a recent case, a mother sought extra support for her gifted daughter.

The mother was of the opinion that her 13-year-old daughter was uniquely talented in the performing arts. She was requesting increased payments from her ex-husband in order to pay for acting lessons, as well as the expenses of pursuing a career in the arts, including travel, clothing and makeup. The girl’s father argued that his current payments of $113 per week were sufficient to cover those costs.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the judge handed down his 15-page ruling. In his interpretation of the guidelines for that jurisdiction, there was leeway to award additional support money for talented children. Though he admitted that identifying talent in the arts was largely subjective, his opinion of the girl was that she possessed not only talent, but drive and determination to achieve her goals. He ordered the father to pay an additional $5 per week, and also told the mother to put aside $5 per week, as well.

British Columbia and federal law are both clear on the minimum requirements for child support payments after a divorce. However, unique situations may warrant having another look. Parents who believe their children require additional support money, or who have any issues regarding child support, should speak with a lawyer who works in family law. He or she may have the answers they need.


Source:, “Divorced parents of gifted children can be made to pay more in child support, judge says“, MaryAnn Spoto, Nov. 9, 2016

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