Parents Beware!

Parents Beware
Date: 04 Jun, 2021| Author: Fred Streiman

By: Amanda Dale

A recently decided case by the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario makes clear that a child does not need to get along with his/her parent in order to receive child support.

In the case of Nicholson v. Nicholson, 2021 ONSC 3588, the court decided that an 18-year-old child was entitled to child support from her father including support and school expenses. This decision was despite the father’s claims that he lacked control or had limited control over his daughter’s choices in this regard.

The daughter was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. She was scheduled to start a university program in the fall. She had a part-time job.

The father claimed that the child unilaterally decided not to communicate with him or have any contact with him. This included a refusal to discuss her plans for her education with her father. The father argued that these factors precluded a finding that she was a “child of the marriage” and therefore not entitled to support from him.

The Court found that a child does not have to get along with his/her parent in order to receive support except in extreme situations. In this case, it did not find that the daughter had unilaterally terminated her relationship with her father without a valid reason.

The Court required the mother to consult with the daughter and prepare a detailed plan for her education to discuss with her father. Support was ordered until the end of August prior to the child commencing her university program. The parents and child were to discuss child support for September onward.

So parents beware-even if you do not get along or have contact with your child after separation does not absolve you of your obligation to pay child support for that child.