While many people are familiar with the concept of child support under the Divorce Act or Family Law Act, many do not know that aside from spousal support, expenses can also be paid that relate to a child’s pre-natal care. J.R. and C.R. v. J.L.B. and C.M.O., 2015 BCPC 87, is one decision that deals with this issue. As the case notes, there isn’t a lot of law out there but from that decision, one can take the following principles:
- If the prospective birth mother makes an application for lost wages, it must be in circumstances where there are no other sources of income (in other words, no employment insurance);
- Expenses for decisions that are matters of personal choice—such as having a doula, acupuncture, or prenatal yoga—will not be reimbursed;
- Expenses for prescribed medications or other treatment prescribed or recommended by doctors usually will be reimbursed;
- Irrespective of this fact, an $80 prenatal class was also allowed as being reasonable and necessary.
The basic take-away is that if you have options available to cover any time off work, you should take them. If you want any expenses to be covered, you should cover yourself with a doctor’s note because outside of that, a large number of expenses will not be recoverable. Likewise, if you are asked to pay and the potential recipient cannot provide justification for their expenses, it is more likely than not that there will be no obligation to pay. As is frequently the case in family law, there are no hard and fast rules and you should always run your specific situation by a lawyer before it becomes a significant problem.
If you are facing a child support related issue or any other family law situation, contact one of our Family Law lawyers.