Province to include adult children with disabilities in child support law

Posted
November 16, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

Ontario has introduced an amendment to the Family Law Act that would make all adult children with disabilities — including those whose parents were never married — eligible for child support.

The change was prompted in part by a Charter challenge brought by a Brampton single mother who was fighting for her adult disabled son's right to continued child support from his father, even though she was never married to the man.

The amendment, part of an omnibus budget bill introduced with the government's fall economic update Tuesday, comes after a series of Star stories about Robyn Coates's battle for child support for her son Joshua, a 22-year-old with a developmental disability.

Currently, only adult children who are attending school full-time are eligible for child support under provincial law.

"Our government believes that everyone is entitled to the financial support they need regardless of the makeup of their family," said Attorney General Yasir Naqvi.

"The proposed change would update Ontario's Family Law Act to more closely align Ontario’s child support legislation with the Federal Divorce Act as well as with the child support laws in the majority of other Canadian provinces and territories," he said in a statement.

Ontario and Alberta are the only provinces that don't include adult children who are ill or disabled under provincial child support laws.

Coates successfully argued Ontario's law discriminates against unwed parents of disabled children based on the federal law which extends access to child support to adult children "due to illness, disability or other cause."

Read more: Province to include adult children with disabilities in child support law