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  1. #1

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    Child support legal question (Ontario)

    Hey all- a friend of mine was served for child support for a child not biologically his. Their relationship lasted less then 2 years, and said child lived with them for maybe 1 yr? The child lived many years with his grandparent and was a teenager when my friend and his mother got together.

    She has never gone after child support from the child's biological father even though her son does see him on occasion.

    Does my friend still have to pay? I don't know because I can't find any info on this unique situation online. They broke up 2 years ago, and she is going after him for back suport as well so this is a significant amount of money he may owe.

    Thanks!!
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    Your friend needs to see a lawyer.

    Was he married to this woman? Did he actual act as a father to the boy? I'm from the US, and here, issues re: child support can get a bit weird; and it *is* possible for someone who is not the biological father of the boy to have to pay child support. But IMO, based only on what you've written, I don't think that applies in this case. He needs a lawyer, though. This isn't something he should go into without professional assistance.

    He should not respond to the filing, nor should he speak to this woman or anyone else involved. All needs to go through his lawyer.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    Your friend needs to see a lawyer.
    ...
    . He needs a lawyer, though. This isn't something he should go into without professional assistance.

    He should not respond to the filing, nor should he speak to this woman or anyone else involved. All needs to go through his lawyer.
    Also, he probably needs to hurry. I don't know anything about Ontario law, but in most places, there is a time limit in which to respond, and, if he does not respond in time, he is in default (which means the court can issue a judgment against him.)

    Ontario should have some sort of lawyer's association (bar association, or whatever) who might help steer him to an attorney who does a lot of this type of case.

  4. #4

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    He has a lawyer and no they were no married though were engaged for almost a year prior to them splitting up. It was through their time engaged that her son lived with them.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    Hey all- a friend of mine was served for child support for a child not biologically his. Their relationship lasted less then 2 years, and said child lived with them for maybe 1 yr? The child lived many years with his grandparent and was a teenager when my friend and his mother got together.
    Supposing your friend and his former partner are not disputing biological issue and DNA test is not required to solve the issue….

    I don’t know Ontario laws.

    Your friend must check immediately if Ontario Laws allow for Equitable Doctrine of Estoppel to be followed in family court and to what extend.

    Equitable Doctrine of Estoppel
    This means that the judge may allow the child support to be collected from a parent for a child that is not biologically his, and who was never legally married to the mother of the child, based on behavior/actions/conduct/precedents set in regards to the upbringing and economics of the child.

    If your friend has willingly “acted like a parent to the child for an extended period of time” and permitted the mother and child to reply upon his financial and paternal support, even if one is not a biological father or husband, he is so to say “accepted the active parent’s duty”.

    This rule (doctrine) applies not only to “male partner”, but to ANY ADULT, grand-parent, relative, same-sex partner, lover, even family friend in rare instances…… Once an adult starts providing a voluntary support which creates “degree of reliance” – this adult CAN potentially be held liable.
    Last edited by Tinami Amori; 10-20-2010 at 10:40 PM.

  6. #6

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    While I was not the intended recipient of this information, this is very useful information for anybody, Tinami.

  7. #7
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    My sister's ex-husband pays child support for his step-daughter, who he lived with from 4-13, but they have a father/daughter bond, so it was never an issue for him.

    My other sister's ex-husband lives with another man who has custody of two children- one is his biological child, and the other is the sibling that he was raising as his when he left his wife. My sister's two children live with them every other week too.

    There are so many non-traditional childrearing arrangements now. It would be strange for your friend to have to pay child support but not have a visitation agreement. And it would be greedy of her to force him to pay, if he and the child don't have that kind of a bond.
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  8. #8

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    In this situation, my friend got together with this woman in 2006, they bought a house in 2007 and her son lived with them off and on for maybe a year before they split in 2008. My friend didn't have much of a relationship with said child having not really known him. He was 14? I think when he moved in. This child is not close to his mother and in this case, I really think she is using the fact that her son did have a room in the house as a means to get money. My friend in no was a parent to that child. He was amicable and friendly to him but did not do anything I would constitute as paternal in anyway in all the times I was at their house.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Supposing your friend and his former partner are not disputing biological issue and DNA test is not required to solve the issue….

    I don’t know Ontario laws.

    Your friend must check immediately if Ontario Laws allow for Equitable Doctrine of Estoppel to be followed in family court and to what extend.

    Equitable Doctrine of Estoppel
    This means that the judge may allow the child support to be collected from a parent for a child that is not biologically his, and who was never legally married to the mother of the child, based on behavior/actions/conduct/precedents set in regards to the upbringing and economics of the child.

    If your friend has willingly “acted like a parent to the child for an extended period of time” and permitted the mother and child to reply upon his financial and paternal support, even if one is not a biological father or husband, he is so to say “accepted the active parent’s duty”.

    This rule (doctrine) applies not only to “male partner”, but to ANY ADULT, grand-parent, relative, same-sex partner, lover, even family friend in rare instances…… Once an adult starts providing a voluntary support which creates “degree of reliance” – this adult CAN potentially be held liable.
    If this is true it really sucks. So I guess when you have a relationship it would be best not to be good to his/her child for fear that you will be locked into child support for years. This law makes no sense. Biological parents need to provide the lasting support, not boyfriends.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Equitable Doctrine of Estoppel
    This means that the judge may allow the child support to be collected from a parent for a child that is not biologically his, and who was never legally married to the mother of the child, based on behavior/actions/conduct/precedents set in regards to the upbringing and economics of the child.
    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    In this situation, my friend got together with this woman in 2006, they bought a house in 2007 and her son lived with them off and on for maybe a year before they split in 2008. My friend didn't have much of a relationship with said child having not really known him. He was 14? I think when he moved in. This child is not close to his mother and in this case, I really think she is using the fact that her son did have a room in the house as a means to get money. My friend in no was a parent to that child. He was amicable and friendly to him but did not do anything I would constitute as paternal in anyway in all the times I was at their house.
    From the description that Tinami posted, the item that I bolded, and the item I bolded in your post, it appears that he may be responsible for some child support.

    I am not a lawyer and certainly not in Canada, but I would suggest that he has his lawyer determine if indeed the child is living with her and if he is responsible for just a certain length of time, and if she is "too late" in filing for child support (over 2 years ago?)

  11. #11
    Hey, Kool-Aid!
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    http://www.childsupportlaws.ca/#step

    The test to determine whether a stepparent must pay child support is whether the stepparent has “stood in the place of a parent for the child” or as lawyers often like to say “in loco parentis.” Generally, if you’ve lived with the children for any substantial amount of time, you’re going to be on the hook for child support. However, if your had a more transient relationship, then you may not need to pay child support.

    Even if your relationship with the stepchildren is strained, has broken off, or was never very strong, or even if it was the reason for you breaking up with your partner, you may well be found to have acted in loco parentis to the children. This is particularly so if you financially support the children beforehand, even in an indirect way such as making the mortgage payments.
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