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Sep 19, 2018

Indefinite needs mean indefinite support for disabled adult child, court finds

By Adam N. Black
Special to the National Post View original

In an important decision released on Sept. 4, Justice Sullivan of the Ontario Court of Justice ordered a father to pay indefinite child support to the mother of the parties’ child, Joshua, a 24-year-old disabled individual who continued to reside with the mother.

The decision is a companion to Justice Sullivan’s July 2017 decision (Coates v. Watson) wherein he rejected the prior distinction for support purposes between children of married and unmarried parents on the basis that such a distinction was contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In the more recent case, the issue before the court was the father’s request to terminate child support for Joshua on the basis that Joshua was now in receipt of social assistance through the Ontario Disability Support Program (“ODSP”). In other words, it was the father’s position that the obligation to support Joshua had shifted from the parents to the state. In the alternative, the father sought a reduction in child support given Joshua’s ability to contribute to his own support by way of his receipt of ODSP in the amount of $881 per month.

This article was originally published in the National Post. To read the complete article, please visit the National Post's website