Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
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Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants

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Repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada which allows assaulting children.

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The report of the Senate Committee on child rights implementation.

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Our most visited webpage. Female sexual predator awareness.

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Canada - Child Financial Support in Family Law

In Canada, the federal government shares responsibility with the provinces and territories for family law matters. When making decisions about children after separation and divorce, the federal Divorce Act applies to parents who were married and are now divorced or are planning to divorce. Provincial or territorial laws apply to parents who were never married or are not planning to divorce. This causes a tremendous burden on men and women who have different results in family law cases.

Children of married couples have more rights than those of unmarried children or who were born outside of committed parental relationships.

Children's rights and father's rights are subordinate to women's rights if a women becomes a mother while not married. The mother alone can put the child out to be adopted even if the father is willing to raise the child by himself. Thus the mother avoids paying child financial support for 20+ years. From a practical standpoint, it is easy in Canada for a woman to hide the pregnancy from the potential father by moving to another jurisdiction for the purpose of adopting out the child without the father's consent. The provincial government in the jurisdiction the child is born will not support the child's right to identity and relationship with the biological father. The mother simply states falsely that she doesn't know or have any information about the father.

The provincial authorities won't support the child's identity rights by investigating. Social workers at a national adoption conference held in the province of New Brunswick in October 2004 overwhelming were opposed to having any laws requiring the biological father's consent to an adoption of his child.  They expressed concerns that that adoption would be delayed if both parents' consent was required by law. They were also concerned that such a requirement would cause them double the work and result in some fathers who had consented to the adoption before the birth, changing their minds immediately after the birth. They preferred that children not be raised by single fathers while they would never even consider a law requiring single mothers to forcibly surrender their children at birth to be adopted by couples only.

It is not uncommon to have misandrist Canadian family court judges and misandrist social workers who prefer to see courts award custody of a child to a couple rather than have a child raised by a single father.  When our researchers have discussed these issues with politicians in the province of Alberta, some politicians have stated that single men are incapable of raising children and that the children are better off being raised by a couple. We then asked them if this was their same position with regards to single mothers raising children. It wasn't.

One typical case found by our researchers involved a an finding ut that he as a father30 days after the child was born. He immediately proceeded with legal action to get hi child. The family court judge ruled that the child should remain with the couple that adopted the child shortly after birth because they had "bonded " with the child for 30 days.

Both the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provide all Canadian children with security of the person, the right of a child to be raised by both of their biological parents without interference from the state unless his/her parent(s) is/are proven to be unfit, harmful or neglectful of their child.

Provincial/territorial governments are responsible for registering and maintaining the integrity of birth records and insuring that children's real identities are recorded in the provincial vital statistics registries. Generally, most, if not all provincial authorities responsible for vital statistics, discourage and refuse to investigate children's identities although many provinces have penalties up to $50,000.00 and/or 6 months in jail for persons ( the mothers ) filing false information with the vital statistics records. No services are provided by the provinces to women needing assistance with identifying the father of their child. Usually, a woman seeking financial support for her child will take a man to court.

Contrary to the normal rule of law which requires a litigant to pay their own costs until they win their legal case, judges frequently order the alleged father to pay for the cost of paternity testing. In cases when the alleged father is proven not be the father, recovery of damages for the paternity tests, legal costs incurred, time off work, mental stress, pain and suffering are all but nonexistent. In such cases, the child is left without being properly identified on their birth records. The child is left without and future prospect of finding his/her father and is deprived on his love, relationship support and financial support.

Although the provincial vital statistics departments have the authority to order an investigation in support of the child's identity rights and the child's right to be raised by both biological parents, they don't do so and judges won't order the government to do their jobs.

Our Paternity Fraud section has a plethora of studies which show that between 10-15% of Canadians are misidentified on their birth records. For more information read the article from Canada's largest national newspaper, The Globe and Mail titled " Mommy's Little Secret" which quotes statistics from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada ( one of the top children's hospitals in the world ).

Unlike such countries as Australia and South Korea which, in family law or case law, indemnify a husband in cases involving a wife who falsely represents a child to be the biological child of her husband, Canadian family law still follows the outdated "loco parentis" concept. If a husband is found to be a victim of paternity fraud and has been deceived into paying for or acting as the child's social father for a brief period of time, family court judges often order him to pay financial support for the child, whether or not the mother follows the parenting schedule ordered by the family court in support of the social father-child relationship rights. Canadian courts infrequently, if at all, then support the child's right to a relationship with their biological father. When found out most women that have perpetrated paternity fraud usually terminate the child's relationship with the "loco parentis" ( stands in place of a parent ) father.


Canadian Flag   Statistics Canada  /  Statistique Canada

Profile of child support beneficiaries

Abstract, March 2009

This Juristat article examines the number of children and families touched by services of the five Maintenance Enforcement Programs currently reporting to the Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs (SMEP). Maintenance Enforcement Programs (MEPs) were created to provide assistance to payors and recipients of child and spousal support, and to improve compliance with support payments primarily for the benefit of the children implicated in the parental break up. Also discussed is the amount of support due to families owed child support, the proportion of these families actually receiving support, and the enforcement response by MEPs when payors default on their child support payments. The final section touches on reciprocating enforcement for interprovincial or international cases that involve two MEPs or child support agencies.

Information is collected through the SMEP. This survey gathers information on the caseload of the MEP, the sex and median age of payors, recipients and children, typical support amounts, compliance rates, information on arrears, frequency and amount of payments, legislation under which the order for support was made, and types of actions that are initiated in order to enforce support.

This report contains data from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. In future years, with more provinces and territories able to report to the SMEP, a more complete national picture of maintenance enforcement will emerge. PDF Click here

Profil des bénéficiaires de pensions alimentaires pour enfants

Résumé

Le présent article de Juristat porte sur le nombre d'enfants et de familles visé par les services des cinq programmes d'exécution des ordonnances alimentaires (PEOA) qui participent actuellement à l'Enquête sur les programmes d'exécution des ordonnances alimentaires (EPEOA). Ces programmes ont été créés en vue d'aider les payeurs et les bénéficiaires de soutien aux enfants et au conjoint, en plus d'améliorer la conformité des paiements de soutien qui sont essentiellement pour le bienfait des enfants touchés par la rupture des parents. Il est également question des montants du soutien payable aux familles bénéficiaires de soutien aux enfants, de la proportion de ces familles qui reçoivent effectivement des montants de soutien et des mesures d'exécution prises par les PEOA lorsque les payeurs n'effectuent pas leurs paiements de soutien aux enfants. La dernière section traite de la question de l'exécution réciproque pour les cas interprovinciaux ou internationaux qui mettent en cause deux PEOA ou organismes de pensions alimentaires pour enfants.

Les renseignements sont recueillis au moyen de l'EPEOA. Cette enquête permet de recueillir des données sur les aspects suivants : le nombre de cas inscrits auprès des PEOA; le sexe et l'âge médian des payeurs, des bénéficiaires et des enfants; les montants caractéristiques des paiements de pensions alimentaires; les taux de conformité; les arriérés; la fréquence et le montant des paiements; la loi en vertu de laquelle l'ordonnance alimentaire a été rendue; le type de mesures amorcées pour exécuter l'ordonnance. Ce rapport renferme des données de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, de la Nouvelle-Écosse, de l'Alberta, du Yukon et des Territoires du Nord-Ouest. Dans les années à venir, lorsqu'un plus grand nombre de provinces et de territoires pourront participer à l'EPEOA, il sera possible de dresser un portrait plus complet de l'exécution des ordonnances alimentaires au Canada.PDF cliquez ici


Government of Canada increases the Federal Child Support Guidelines dealing with the Universal Child Care Benefit.

Updated April 4, 2007

In 2006, the Government of Canada passed the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) in the amount of $100/month for all families with a child under the age of 6.

The purpose is to allow families to choose the child care (daycare) option that best suits them and to apply the UCCB to that cost.

Under s. 7(1)(a) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines (FCSG), child daycare costs are considered to be a special or extraordinary expense. As such, the costs are to be shared between the parents in proportion to their income - s.7(2). More..

No Maximums on Child Financial Support - Income of Support Recipient Parent Irrelevant

In Germany and some other countries there is a maximum amount of child financial support paid by a parent. Not so in Canada. The most we have heard of in Canada is $65,000 per month for 1 child, tax free. Obviously, amounts paid beyond the needs of children are really a form of wealth transfer or disguised spousal support.

It is not in the best interests of children to provide them with substantially more than there daily needs. Children need to learn the value of money and become educated on the value of the work ethic. Children of divorce quickly learn that the parent with the majority of the parenting time controls the purse strings. Canadian family law generally doesn't require any accountability of the funds received by parents receiving child financial support from another parent.

Canadian family law in divorce/separation even subordinates the rights of one adult to another adult. We have heard on TV, the statements made by one of Canada's top family law lawyers who stated that adult offspring of divorced parents are "disadvantaged" as a result of the divorce and therefore should be entitled to at least 2 university degrees paid for by the parent that was paying support while the offspring was a child. In contrast, parents that are married are not required to pay for their adult offspring's university/college education.  In cases involving an offspring whose parents are divorced, they are not entitled to receive the "child support" even though they are an adult. The money has to be paid in nearly all cases to the parent that may not even be providing anything for the adult offspring attending University in another province.

The mandate of the Canadian Children's Rights Council doesn't usually deal with issues of public policy for adult offspring but in the spirit of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that deal with the need for high quality, free universal education, we advocate for a comprehensive national post- secondary education policy to benefit all young adults and the future of Canada. Currently, most young adults that attended universities or colleges graduate with large debts resulting from student loans used to finance their education. Such a burden delays the development of these young adults in both their personal lives and in their careers.

The "Child Support Guidelines" used by most provinces and provided by the Government of Canada do not generally consider any expenses for children living with a parent less than 40% of the time. Thus government policy in Canada promotes the exclusion of one of the child's parents from the child's life in cases of divorce, separation or for parents that never were in a relationship. In most cases, parents with less than 40% of the overall parenting time (usually the father) pays the parent with the majority of parenting time (usually the mother) no matter what the income is of either parent. The winner of the divorce legal battle takes all.

For example, a disabled father which has a court order to parent his child 35% of the overall time and making $12,000 per year living in poverty pays child support to a mother who makes $150,000.00 per year. The father will likely not actually parent his children at all because he can't afford to pay for transportation to his home, food, clothing or shelter during his parenting time.

Child financial support is generally not deductible for income tax purposes by the payor and is generally not taxable income by the recipient parent. When this was changed by the federal government in 1997, the net affect on families was estimated to be $300 million dollars less for families involving divorce net after taxes per year.

No guaranteed minimums

Parents that receive child support which is collected by provincial child support collection agencies which jail parents that are out of work. Articles have been written about how they take drivers licenses away from truck drivers that are unemployed stopping them from gaining future employment and paying child support. Child support payments aren't based on payor's incomes necessarily. Litigation in family law courts is required to make changes and promotes fighting between parents.  The winner tales all approach promoted by the family laws of Canada damages everyone.

The family law system requires lengthy, complex litigation to have simple adjustments made to payments for child financial support. The federal government in 1997 planned to have rates changed yearly as support payors incomes changed. It never happened. Support payors that have become disabled and live in poverty still are threatened by the provincial authorities with jail for payments owing on income they didn't earn. Most provinces don't pay for legal aid lawyers to take such cases back to court to get payments adjusted to a level based on the income of the support payor. The social safety net, the Employment Insurance (EI) program, provided federally had the benefits reduced so much that it no longer substantially provides insurance in the event of parents loosing their jobs, being laid off and the like. Part time wage earners, many of them poor single mothers, don't qualify for EI benefits because the time worked requirements per monthly period have been increased and their benefits therefore eliminated totally. Canadians wonder why Employment Insurance is called "insurance" since the system eliminates such a high number of people that pay into it but who can't collect benefits.

Single parents on social assistance effectively don't get the child financial support

In the late 1990's Canada's largest daily newspaper, The Toronto Star, ran a series of articles on child poverty. The Canadian Children's Rights Council suggested that Canadian provinces change their policies to  the same policies as certain states of the U.S.A.. The Toronto Star suggested the same should become public policy across Canada.

The policy change we sought was to let parents on social assistance keep child financial support paid in family law cases up to a limit at which the receiving family is not living in poverty. It currently is "clawed back".

In a typical case, when a support recipient parent receives say $500.00 per month for child financial support, their social assistance cheque is reduced by the same amount, so they usually, effectively, get no child support. Social assistance rates are substantially below the poverty line. Canada's most populous province cut back the rates paid to social assistance recipients in the 1997 by about 23% and since then have given a raise of a few percent per year starting in 2005. The basic housing allowance isn't enough to provide even modest shelter for families or singles living in Canada's largest city.

In some countries, parents that receive child financial support from divorced spouses receive some government guaranteed security should the payor become medically disabled. In Canada, a disabled parent that has the majority of the parenting time after a divorce may qualify for a government disability pension of a very small amount that does include some consideration for their child living with them. No such support is available to parents that have the majority of the parenting time should the other parent, a support payor,  become disabled.

The provincial governments of Canada have tens of millions of dollars in their records as owing in child financial support payments for parents that are disabled and living in poverty, in jail,  have no income, or are even dead.

The federal Government of Canada pays money to poor parents. Most provincial governments take that money

The Government of Canada pays money (the National Child Benefit Supplement - NCBS) to the poorest citizens of Canada to assist children living in poverty. The provincial governments then effectively takes that money from the poor by the use of a "clawback" by the provincial government. The provincial government reduces payments to families living in poverty by an amount equal to what the federal government paid them. In fact, this specific issue was addressed as a campaign commitment by Ontario Liberal Party leader, Dalton McGuinty, before the 2003 election. He promised the poorest people of Ontario, Canada's most populous province, that if elected, he would stop the "clawback". After he was elected, he then refused to fulfill his election promise.

Provinces such as Manitoba don't take money destined for the poor. See the letter from Manitoba, The Honourable Christine Melnick, M.L.A. Minister, Family Services and Housing (January 2005)


Statistics Canada's "The Daily", Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006

Maintenance Enforcement Survey: Child and spousal support - 2004 / 05

The report Child Spousal Support: Maintenance Enforcement Survey Statistics, which is available today, provides data on the collection and enforcement of child and spousal support payments for cases registered with maintenance enforcement programs.

These programs were created in each province and territory during the 1980s and 1990s to help recipients obtain their support payments without having to go before the courts. They handle an estimated 50% of all support orders and agreements in Canada.

Programs vary in a number of important aspects, such as client profile and enforcement powers and practices. In some provinces and territories, all support orders and agreements are automatically registered with the maintenance enforcement program at the time of the order.

In others enrolment is voluntary. In this situation, it is the more difficult cases (those in arrears or default) that tend to be registered. These differences between programs have important implications for interpreting the survey data, and the results should not be generalized to all support orders in Canada.

The report includes data for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario, which have mandatory registration, and Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, which have voluntary registration. Combined, they represent about 84% of Canada's population.

As of March 31, 2005, there were nearly 364,000 cases enrolled in a maintenance enforcement program in these eight reporting jurisdictions. There were 2,500 cases in Prince Edward Island, 18,200 in Nova Scotia, 13,000 in New Brunswick, 104,400 in Quebec, 178,300 in Ontario, 7,800 in Saskatchewan, 38,800 in British Columbia and 700 in the Northwest Territories.

Average monthly caseloads increased for most provinces from 2003/04 to 2004/05. The exceptions were New Brunswick and British Columbia, which experienced small declines.

The vast majority of cases involved a support amount for children. On March 31, 2005, 98% of cases registered with the maintenance enforcement program in British Columbia included a support amount for children. The proportion was 97% of cases in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories, and 95% in Nova Scotia.

In 2004/05, a large proportion of registered cases in all reporting provinces and territories had a regular monthly payment of $400 or less. On March 31, 2005, this applied to 46% of cases in the Northwest Territories, 48% in Ontario, 58% in Quebec, 62% in British Columbia, 63% in Saskatchewan, 68% in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, and 70% in Nova Scotia.

In the majority of cases registered with a maintenance enforcement program, the payers make their regular monthly payment in full. In March 2005, the proportion that made the payment in full ranged from 55% of the cases in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia to 78% in Quebec.

The report Child and Spousal Support: Maintenance Enforcement Survey Statistics, 2004/05

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Information and Client Services (1-800-387-2231; 613-951-9023), Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.


The Canadian Press

Top court to rule on support enforcement

Canadian Press, January 16, 2007

OTTAWA A plastic surgeon accused of fleeing the country to avoid paying support to his ex-wife and children is raising a thorny problem for the Supreme Court of Canada.

The question is whether divorced dads can be cited for contempt and jailed for ignoring court orders in such disputes. The answer could reach well beyond the immediate case of Kenneth Dickie, his former wife and their three now-grown children.

"It's really about how to deal with every divorced or separated woman's worst nightmare . . . that their husband is going to disappear or default in his support obligations," said Harold Niman, lawyer for Leaka Dickie.

"The broader issue is how can the courts deal with a chronic problem of non-payment of support, and the systemic problem that raises for families across Canada." more..


Letter to the Editor Judgment reinforces court bias against dads

The Vancouver Province, Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Supreme Court of Canada has again unfairly declared open season on fathers by awarding a mother rather than her children more rights to dad's cash.

The court's ruling says parents are obliged to support their children in a way commensurate with their income.

If parents receive pay increases at work following a divorce but don't give more in child support, they can be walloped with retroactive charges.

Statistically, women are given custody of the children in 93 per cent of Canadian court cases. More ..


Court ruling means divorced dads could face hefty child-support payments

The National Post ( one of Canada's 2 national newspapers), Janice Tibbetts, CanWest News Service, Monday, July 31, 2006

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada sent a warning to divorced parents on Monday that they better come clean when their income goes up or they could be forced to pay retroactive child support unless they can convince a judge that they had a good reason for non-disclosure. More ..


Supreme Court says divorced parents must report pay increases

CBC News TV and Radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Mon,  July 31, 2006

Canada's top court ruled Monday that divorced and separated parents have a duty to report increases in their income when it comes to paying child support.

The decision could affect hundreds of thousands of parents across the country.

The 7-0 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada means that former spouses could face big retroactive support payments. The court left the door open for lower courts to decide on those payments on a case-by-case basis. More ..


Editorial

Ruling on the money

Ottawa Sun , Ottawa, Ontario, August 1, 2006

The Supreme Court of Canada rightly decided yesterday that divorced or separated dads who don't boost their child support to keep pace with their income could face hefty retroactive orders.

It seems like one of those rulings that shouldn't have to be made in the first place. After all, "child support" is just that -- money that goes toward paying the expenses associated with having a child.

It has nothing to do with the former spouse or partner and whatever may have gone wrong in the relationship.

However, experts say it's typically an argument over custody, or some other falling-out between parents, that triggers a battle over support money. More ..


NEWS RELEASE

June 13, 2006

Ministry of Attorney General, British Columbia, 2006AG0027-000801

CHILD SUPPORT INITIATIVE TO HELP CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

VICTORIA BC Separated parents will be better able to manage the financial demands of raising children through a new pilot program launched this month in Kelowna, Attorney General Wally Oppal announced today.

Every parent knows that raising children requires years of dedication and care, no matter whether the familys income level rises or falls while they are growing up, said Oppal. This innovative Child Support Recalculation Service will, for the first time, allow many child support payments to be automatically changed to reflect changes in a payors income on an annual basis without having to return to court.

The program involves parents who pay child support following separation or divorce. They are asked to provide updated financial information, such as income tax returns, which is then used to recalculate and update the child support amount. There is no charge for the recalculation. More ..


Sperm donor loses appeal on child support

The Patriot News, Friday, July 23, 2004, BY REGGIE SHEFFIELD of The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. More..


Statistics Canada
Statistique Canada

Maintenance Enforcement Survey: Child and spousal support

January 25, 2006

The report Child Spousal Support: Maintenance Enforcement Survey Statistics, which is available today, provides data on the collection and enforcement of child and spousal support payments for cases registered with maintenance enforcement programs.

These programs were created in each province and territory during the 1980s and 1990s to help recipients obtain their support payments without having to go before the courts. They handle an estimated 50% of all support orders and agreements in Canada.

Programs vary in a number of important aspects, such as client profile and enforcement powers and practices. In some provinces and territories, all support orders and agreements are automatically registered with the maintenance enforcement program at the time of the order. More ..


Doctor's case an issue of contempt

Surgeon thumbing his nose at courts, judge says, but the doctor blames the system for his troubles Case raises question of whether people found in contempt deserve access to courts, writes Tracey Tyler


The Toronto Star ( Canada's largest daily newspaper ), by TRACEY TYLER,  LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, January 18, 2006

A plastic surgeon from Sarnia is enjoying a "lavish" and "luxurious" lifestyle in the Bahamas while his ex-wife in Canada battles for support and his children struggle to fund their education, a judge says.

Dr. Kenneth Dickie, who earned between $656,000 and $915,000 annually in recent years, spent time in a Toronto jail last year for failing to fulfill his support obligations.

In 2001, a judge ordered him to pay $9,067.42 a month to his three children, ages 18 to 23, and $2,500 a month to his former wife, who supported him through his medical training. When he did not comply, another judge ordered him to provide a $150,000 letter of credit to secure his obligations and another $100,000 as security to cover his ex-wife's legal costs, which he did not do. More ..


From the Government of Canada - Department of Justice Canada

The Federal Child Support Guidelines are amended as of May 1, 2006. These amendments include updated Federal Child Support Tables resulting from the actions of the Paul Martin, Prime Minister, of Canada's Liberal Party after he was beaten in a federal election won the the Conservative Party and before the Conservative Party took power and formed a government.

Links to related sites

Provincial and territorial governments Link opens in a new window
Links to the departments responsible for child support laws in each province and territory.

Provincial and territorial maintenance enforcement programs Link opens in a new window
Child support enforcement is primarily a provincial and territorial responsibility. Links to the departments responsible for enforcing child support orders and agreements in each province and territory.

Parenting After Divorce Link opens in a new window
The Department of Justice Canada's Internet site for information on parenting after divorce.

Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Link opens in a new window
Child support enforcement is primarily a provincial and territorial responsibility, but the federal government provides the provinces and territories with enforcement tools. Gives general information on federal laws.

Canada Revenue Agency Link opens in a new window
Contains tax forms and information on tax credits that may be available to parents..



Toronto Star logo
Canada's largest daily newspaper

Deadbeat parents risk jail, court says

Appeal court rules that temporary support orders cannot be ignored, even before a full court hearing

Tracey Tyler Legal, Affairs Reporter, December 09, 2008

Debtors' prisons may generally be a thing of the past, but not when it comes to parents who stubbornly refuse to pay child support.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a 3-0 ruling, said judges have the power to order parents jailed for failing to comply with temporary support orders. Such support orders, made after someone has fallen behind in payments, but before a full court hearing into their ability to pay, are common.

In recent years, Ontario's Family Responsibility Office has taken to asking judges to include clauses allowing for imprisonment in the event of non-compliance, said Michael Marra, a Guelph lawyer representing Andrew Fischer, whose case gave rise to the appeal.  More..



The Canadian Press

Support payments must keep pace with pay

Canadian Press, by JIM BROWN, July 31, 2006, Found in the Globe and Mail ( Canada's largest national newspaper and various other newspapers across Canada

OTTAWA Divorced or separated parents who do not increase their child support to keep pace with their rising income could face hefty retroactive orders to pay up under a new Supreme Court of Canada judgment.

In a 7-0 decision Monday, the court said that, as a rule, people who do not keep their support payments up to date as their incomes increase are not fulfilling their legal obligations to their children.

The nuanced ruling also left plenty of room, however, for future decisions in the lower courts to vary based on the specific facts of each case.

For example, a parent in most cases the father might face undue hardship in paying a retroactive award in some circumstances. More ..


Court backs dad, ends kid support

Payments dropped, arrearages eliminated

Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News, U.S.A. March 24, 2006

Fathers paying child support for children who are not biologically theirs were cheering Thursday for Doug Richardson, who went to court and got his child support payments stopped and what he owes wiped out.

Still, Richardson said his fight is not over. He will continue to work to get laws in Michigan changed.

"It's a good step in the right way for others in the court system," Richardson said, "but I have a road ahead of me, working with (lawmakers)."

Richardson paid an estimated $80,000 in child support over 15 years to his ex-wife even though a DNA test showed their first son was not his. Richardson said he paid support to his ex-wife while she lived with the child's biological father and then later to the biological father when the couple split up. [full story]


With regard to child financial support

Non-custodial fathers pay 60.0 percent of the child support they are ordered to pay. Non-custodial mothers pay only 46.8 percent.

derived from US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Table 1, April 1998


Child Support Agency forced to pay back wrongly accused men

The Guardian, U.K. ,  David Hencke, Westminster correspondent, Monday November 28, 2005

The Child Support Agency has had to refund hundreds of thousands of pounds in maintenance payments to more than 3,000 men after DNA tests revealed that they had been wrongly named by mothers in paternity suits. One in six men who took a DNA test to challenge claims by women that they were the fathers of their children were cleared by the results, according to official figures disclosed by the agency..

Under CSA rules, men must start paying maintenance the moment they are named by mothers as the father of the child. They can challenge the ruling by asking for a DNA test but have to pay for it themselves. More ..


The Canadian Press

Legal fight looms over huge support payments

Canadian Press, Edmonton Sun, Toronto Sun, various other newspapers across Canada, March 28, 2005

TORONTO -- A Toronto legal team wants the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers ordered to make immediate child-support payments retroactive to 1997. Family lawyer Gary Joseph says if the case is not heard, families across the country may find themselves owing thousands of dollars in retroactive support.

Joseph filed the appeal application to challenge a recent Alberta decision requiring the fathers to pay large sums of support - more than half of one man's annual earnings in one case - based on changes in their incomes over the years. More ..


'I don't get to see her'
Man protests child support ruling

By AJAY BHARDWAJ, EDMONTON SUN, Sat, February 5, 2005

A 26-year-old Bonnyville man who recently discovered he's not the father of a three-year-old girl says he shouldn't have to pay her child support. A Court of Queen's Bench Justice has said Justin Sumner must still shoulder the $165 monthly fee because he acted as the girl's father for two years before divorcing her mother.

"I don't want to pay child support for a kid that's not mine," said Justin Sumner yesterday. "The real father gets away scot-free whether he's got money or not." More ..


Divorced dads face bigger support bills

Calgary father told higher salary means larger payment

Calgary Herald,  Suzanne Wilton, with files from Cristin Schmitz, for CanWest News Service, Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Calgary man has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in back child support in what's being described as a landmark court ruling that could affect fathers across Canada..

The case potentially opens the door to a flood of claims by custodial parents -- usually moms -- seeking retroactive payments, say family lawyers. More ..


Ruling a big red flag for men

Calgary Sun, By MINDELLE JACOBS, Sat, February 5, 2005

If men knew more about family law, they'd run screaming from single mothers prowling for relationships and father figures for their children.

Any lawyer will tell you that the nature of your relationship with a child - not biology - determines whether you're on the hook for child support.

Sperm has nothing to do with it, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled a few years ago. More ..


Non-dad on hook for support

Edmonton and Calgary Sun, By TONY BLAIS, SUN MEDIA

EDMONTON -- An Edmonton judge has decided a divorced dad has to make child support payments, even though the child isn't his. Justin Sumner had an on-again-off-again relationship with the woman he eventually married, Dawn Sumner..

She already had a child from a previous relationship with a man named Rob Duncan, and as she and Justin broke up and reunited, Dawn was sexually involved with both men.

When she found she was pregnant, she called Justin, who recognized there was a possibility that Duncan was the father, but later concluded he was the dad. More ..


U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services data shows that 26 percent of non-custodial fathers and 47 percent of non-custodial mothers totally default on child support


The FRO under scrutiny

The Women's Post, newspaper, Toronto, Ontario, by Leslie Whatmough, July 7th, 2005

On June 9, 2005 the McGuinty government announced the passage of Bill 155, legislation that promised to increase enforcement, improve fairness and enhance efficiency at the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). However, the legislation did not address the problem of accountability and, as things now stand, the FRO is a threat to every Canadian affected by a government regulated support and custody arrangement system. Think of George Orwells 1984 and you'll have a good picture of how issues are handled at the FRO.

They have legal power to extort money from Canadians, but are not responsible or accountable for their actions. Last year an FRO staff member decided not to wait for a court date to review the financial status of an out-of-work truck driver and took it upon themselves to suspend his license because he was, understandably, behind on his payments, having lost his job earlier in the year. Although he was looking for work, the FRO cut off the only way he knew of to earn a living. His suicide note explained how hed lost all hope. Is this what we want FRO to be doing? It is one thing to chase after dead-beat dads (this philosophy is an integrated part of the FRO mandate), but what of the majority of people who pay regularly and lose their job or run into tough times? Should they too be stripped of their civil rights? More ..


Does the FRO have a feminist perspective?

The Women's Post, July 7th, 2005, by Joseph Young

When families fall apart, they can make for the bitterest of enemies. The intensity of their hostility, the personal rhetoric, the posturing and positioning, and the utter faithlessness of remembrance in the relationship's good deeds and consequences is a breathtaking phenomenon. It's as if the positive qualities and countless achievements are struck from history as a revisionist might strike the Holocaust. Into all of this the family court system wades, often inelegantly. Divorce lawyers drive up the emotional and financial toll of separation and transformation. Family and friends frequently collude to make things worse.

And when government decides to rear its head, well, it's a mess for all the world to see. Witness the recent attention on Ontarios euphemistically branded Family Responsibility Office. A job in advertising doubtlessly greeted the person who came up with its title, because it suggests some sort of feel-good missionary work to hold together the sanctity of the institution. More ..


The Canadian Press

High court to determine if parents to pay millions in lump-sum child support

MacLean's and various other publications, Canadian Press, August 18, 2005, TARA BRAUTIGAM

TORONTO (CP) - Canada's highest court agreed Thursday to hear a case that could determine whether hundreds of thousands of divorced or separated Canadian parents who owe millions in retroactive child support will have to make their payments in a single lump sum..

Toronto lawyers filed the appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers who were ordered to make immediate child support payments stretching back as far as 1997.

The fathers are appealing an Alberta court decision in January that required parents with child support payments based on old court orders and separation agreements to pay thousands more in retroactive support to better reflect their higher incomes. More ..


The Canadian Press

Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal that could cost millions in child support

MacLean's magazine, and various other publications, Canadian Press, TARA BRAUTIGAM, August 18, 2005

TORONTO (CP) - Canada's highest court has agreed to hear a case that's expected to determine whether parents across the country who are either separated or divorced would be required to pay millions of dollars in retroactive child support..

Toronto lawyers filed the appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers ordered to make immediate child support payments stretching back as far as 1997.

The appeal was launched to challenge an Alberta court decision in January that required fathers to pay large sums of money in child support based on changes in their incomes over the years.

In one case, a man was required to pay more than half of his annual earnings. More ..


The Canadian Press

Appeal may cost parents millions

Supreme Court agrees to hear fathers' case
Thousands may face lump-sum back claims

Toronto Star,  TARA BRAUTIGAM, Canadian Press, Aug. 19, 2005

Canada's highest court will hear the appeal of four Alberta fathers who were ordered to pay retroactive child support in a case that could dramatically impact the financial obligations of countless divorced or separated Canadian parents..

Should the Supreme Court of Canada uphold the original January ruling, it could result in hundreds of thousands of parents being hit with lump-sum support payments totalling millions of dollars, said Deidre Smith, one of the lawyers leading the appeal.

Despite existing court orders and separation agreements, the fathers were ordered by an Alberta judge to make immediate lump-sum child support payments, some stretching as far back as 1997, to reflect changes in their incomes, Smith said.

One of the appellants "is about as opposite from a deadbeat dad as you can get," Smith said from her Toronto office. More ..


The Globe and Mail

Four fathers' child-support case will go to top court

Ruling on retroactive payment could affect hundreds of thousands of divided families

The Globe and Mail, By DAWN WALTON, Friday, August 19, 2005 Page A4

CALGARY -- The Supreme Court of Canada agreed yesterday to hear the appeal of four Alberta fathers, some of whom were ordered to pay massive amounts of retroactive child support, in a case that has implications for hundreds of thousands of divorced and separated families across the country.

"The overall message to Canadians is go on and sort out your ongoing child-support issues, but if you have a big retroactive claim you better put it on your backburner until the Supreme Court of Canada makes a decision," said Deidre Smith, whose Toronto-based law firm MacDonald & Partners is representing the Alberta men.

The fathers are appealing an Alberta Court of Appeal decision in January that required parents with child-support payments based on old court orders and separation agreements to pay thousands more in retroactive support to better reflect their higher incomes. More ..


Justice and Attorney General -  News release

Greater enforcement of family support (05/05/25)

NB 624, May 25, 2005

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Stronger enforcement measures contained in new legislation will help put more money into the hands of parents and children who receive family support. Justice Minister Brad Green introduced the new Support Enforcement Act in the legislature today.

"Children need love and support from both parents, especially after their parents separate or divorce," Green said. " This new legislation will help ensure a dependable flow of support payments to families to help children grow up happy and healthy." More ..


The Canadian Press

Ombud blasts child-support collections

Cites example of mother who changed name to avoid making payments

Canadian Press, (published in various newspapers across Canada including The Toronto Star, August 9, 2006

A name change that kept a dad from collecting child support is just the latest in routine carelessness at the office tasked with collecting from deadbeat parents, Ontarios ombudsman said today.

Andre Marin called on the province to take action after finding the Family Responsibility Office is inept and has a ``lackadaisical attitude when it comes to collecting outstanding child support.

He wants the provincial government to fix the system which was set up a decade ago to enforce court-awarded support orders because deadbeats have been having a free ride for too long. More ..

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