Finally, something I can agree with.

Child support has always been a kind of oxymoron. In Canada, at least. Fathers more often than not either didn’t pay, or didn’t pay as much as they should, all on account of no one had a clue they could afford to pay more, or anything at all. It wasn’t uncommon for fathers, and some mothers in those rare cases, to have a support payment rendered against them based on the income they had *at the time*, and then when they find themselves a better job that pays more, the amount they pay out for support doesn’t increase with their income. Finally, though in my honest opinion hellishly too late for some families, the Supreme Court of Canada wants to fix that. An idea I find myself very much liking, if only for this reason. Yeah, there may be a fair few dads out there who’re seperated from their families solely because the marriage just plain wasn’t working out. But there’s a god aweful lot of deadbeats out there, too, who just up and decide they want absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the kid(s), or the mother. No visitation, no help whatsoever, just make a baby and split. Then, they get told their paying $$$ in child support, and they go either get fired so they *can’t* pay anything, or they find themselves a better job so the $$$ they got told they’re paying doesn’t take away a thing from their own personal income–think an extra bill payment or two. Well, if the SCC has its way, thanks in large part to a couple cases going before them in Alberta, deadbeat dad isn’t gonna get off that easy. If the court decides you’re paying 15% of your anual income for child support, then you pay that damn 15% of your anual income, period. Whether you make $10000/year or $100000/year. You helped put that family together, so if you’re not gonna at the least stick around and actually be a decent father and husband, fine. But don’t go cheaping out on supporting that family. Take some goddamn responsibility for what you didn’t seem to have a problem participating in already. I’m just glad for the sake of the kids involved the supreme court agrees with me.

2 comments
  1. Hey James,
    Thanks for being a loyal reader and for the link. I just read your piece here, and though I do agree with you for the most part, here’s a situation for you that isn’t contemplated under the new proposed ruling. A friend of mine is currently in the process of divorcing his wife. They have one child, a daughter, whom the wife is taking sole custody of. My friend is not fighting this (although he wants to) because his soon-to-be ex makes over $300K/year, and he knows that his daughter will have a better life and be well provided for if she stays with his ex. My friend was a stay-at-home dad and, to make a very long story short, the marriage didn’t work out.
    Since my friend was a stay-at-home dad, he has been unemployed for over three years now, and has been having difficulty reentering the workforce. He has recently found out that he may be unemployable because he was just diagnosed with a brain tumor.
    Now, according to his lawyer, he will still have to pay child support to his daughter, because the law states that the parent not residing with the child must pay support. My friend wouldn’t mind paying support for his daughter, except that he doesn’t have a job, and will be receiving alimony from his wife as she was the principal breadwinner. My question for you to think about is should he still have to pay child support even though his income, for the time being, will be coming from the alimony from his ex?
    Of course, he is thinking positively and hopes that the tumor will be able to be easily removed so that he can go out and find gainful employment, however, his field of work does not pay salaries of $300k/year. He is still willing to pay child support if and when he does get a job, but my question is, once he does start making payments, should the money go to his rich ex-wife’s account or should it not go into a trust directly for his daughter? It’s not like the child is going to go without milk if her mom doesn’t receive payments from her dad, and it’s not as if her dad is a deadbeat – far from it. But in a situation like this, wouldn’t you think that the support payments should begin when and if my friend can find gainful employment and not as of the date that my friend left the marital home (which is what the law says)?
    Anyway, that’s just my rant. I can’t say any more than that without potentially screwing up my friend’s divorce petition.
    Keep up the good rants, and looking forward to some lively debating with you…
    BC

  2. You raise a good point. However, I should think that would be something they could come to an understanding on between the two of them. Unfortunately, as you’ve pointed out, the ruling doesn’t cover all the bases here–they very rarely ever do, though (see same sex marriage as an example). But, like everything else in a divorce arangement, this is something they’ll have to work out between the two of them. Do they stick a percentage of his current income in a trust fund for their daughter, or is there the possibility of them agreeing he won’t pay child support? As far as I’m aware, if both parties can agree there will be no child support, then there won’t be any; although my divorce law is a little rusty. Basicly, what it comes down to is what makes sense, period. It wouldn’t make sense, for instance, for her to be paying him alimony just so he can hand a percentage of it back. But, a trust fund would probably work. Or he’ll just receive that much less so far as alimony goes, and the percentage stays in effect if and when his income changes–IE he ends up employed. This is probably the only area of law wherein what the outcome actually is depends on what the two of them and/or their lawyers, can agree to.

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