Divorce is a challenging time for families. Emotions run high. Both parties have certain expectations of the outcome. Sometimes, they express those expectations, and sometimes, the ex-spouses believe their former partner can read the other’s mind.
Those expectations may be reasonable, such as the expectation of child support. But, what happens when a child grows into an adult? Should there still be an expectation of support? Read on to learn about what Ontario law states about supporting adult children after a divorce.
Canada’s Divorce Act
In 1985, Canada’s government passed the Divorce Act. One of the sections of the Divorce Act deals with the subject of child support payments.
The Divorce Act gave judges the power to order a parent to pay child support. A judge can order the parent to pay child support for a definite or indefinite period of time. The law also allows a judge to set the amount of child support to be paid.
Ontario’s Family Law Act
Five years after the federal Divorce Act passed, Ontario enacted the Family Law Act. The Family Law Act also discusses the parental obligation of child support.
The law states that a parent must support his or her unmarried child who is a minor or who is enrolled in a full time program of education. So, under Ontario law, a parent has an obligation to provide support to an adult child if he or she is in school.
Laws and Judicial Discretion
While the federal Divorce Act is less clear about the age of a child receiving support, Ontario’s Family Act makes it quite clear. Still, judges have a great deal of discretion in deciding whether an adult child should receive support.
What does this mean for parents? A judge’s ruling about the financial support of an adult child will depend largely on the judge’s opinions in regards to parental obligations and when a person should become self-sufficient.
Trends in Judicial Rulings
In recent years, young adults have been putting off what many would consider milestones, such as moving out of their parents’ homes and getting married. They do so in favour of travel, continuing education or an inability to find work in their chosen field.
Judges across Canada have tended to award support to parents of adult children (or the children themselves) who are still enrolled in an educational program or are unemployed, but making a good faith effort to find work.
Need Help With Child Support? We Can Help!
Some people don’t retain legal counsel when determining child support. As a result, they feel bullied and that the arrangement is completely unreasonable.
For any arrangement to work, the terms need to be reasonable and enforceable. Our family lawyers know how to make sure you arrive at terms and payments that are fair and that the children’s needs are taken care of and is in accord with the law.
If you need help with child support or spousal support, please call us in Barrie at 705-302-1102 or Orillia at 705-418-0901 or Newmarket at 289-802-2433 or complete the Request a Consultation form on the right.