Breakthrough in Child Support Legislation: Coates v. Watson, 2017 ONCJ 454

This case is a monumental breakthrough in family law legislation. A mother challenged the constitutionality of child support provisions. The issue before the Court was whether section 31 of the Family Law Act (FLA) discriminated against adult disabled children of unmarried parents on the basis of parental marital status and disability, violating section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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Emancipation and Financial Obligation

This case raises the question; in what circumstances do parents have an obligation to support children who have completely withdrawn from their care? Justice Marvin Kurz was tasked with determining whether a 17-year-old girl’s father should financially support her academic pursuits at an American university after she was emancipated.
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Conducting a Variation of Retroactive Support Analysis

This case serves as a reminder that establishing a material change in circumstances is only the first hurdle to meet when attempting to reduce support arrears, and that the party seeking such relief must establish either that they are unable, and will never be able, to pay the arrears, or that the arrears have accrued as a result of a change in the payor’s circumstances.
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