A parent's obligation to financially support his or her minor children is a given. However, as a recent case reported in the National Post points out, this obligation can become tempered once the child crosses into adulthood.
The unnamed case dealt with a father who was seeking to be relieved of any obligation to fund his nineteen-year old daughter's post-secondary education after she cut off all ties with him.
In deciding that the father still had an obligation to pay support notwithstanding the alienation of his daughter's affection, Justice Gray is quoted in the Post as follows:
“In this case, there can be no question that [the father] is nothing more than a wallet.... While the allocation of fault or blame for situations of this sort is difficult, at best, it seems to me that in this case both parents must assume a share of the blame....It is doubtful that the girls will blame their mother for the estrangement from their father, even though I have placed considerable responsibility on her....However, even if they continue to blame their father, they will undoubtedly come to realize that his mistakes were the product of clumsiness and insensitivity rather than any deliberate intent.”
In the estates context, claims for support by adult children against a deceased parent's estate are governed by Part V of the Succession Law Reform Act. While the statutory regime differs from the Family Law Act, the Courts face similarly difficult issues in reconciling the claim for support by adult children.
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