So you will recall from Part 1, that one’s child support obligation does not necessarily end when a child turns 18. Nor does the obligation necessarily end once the adult-child has obtained one post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate.
How about if the adult-child neither has nor wants anything to do with the ‘payor’ parent? Surely, the estranged parent should not be required to continue subsidizing the child’s ongoing education? Surely, the parent should not have to pay ongoing Guideline table support? Right?
This issue, regrettably, rears its ugly head more often than one would think. In the past, the Courts would sometimes side with the parent: in the face of a unilateral repudiation of the parent-child relationship by the child, a parent should not be required to continue paying support. The law, however, has evolved so that this unilateral termination must be ‘egregious’ (i.e. conspicuously bad or offensive), and there is absolutely 100% no blame that can be placed on the parent’s shoulders. More recent cases have even suggested that—given the ‘no-fault’ paradigm of family law in Ontario (actually in all of Canada)—a child’s conduct should not even enter into the equation. Conduct is generally not considered a factor when it comes to awarding spousal support, then why should child support be any different?
Personally, I am not entirely convinced by this argument. For that matter, I am not entirely convinced that ‘fault’ should not play some role when it comes to dealing with support issues, both child and spousal.
Does it seem right that a spouse can cheat on his/her partner left, right and center during the relationship, run off with the next door neighbor, and still be entitled to spousal support? Is it right that a child, now an adult, can tell a parent to ‘get lost, I want nothing to do with you, you are pond scum…but I still want your money’, and still be entitled to support?
I do not think this fair and just. But such is the law. People pursue litigation with the belief that the law and the legal system equate with justice and fairness…….a common misconception...