Canadian court rejects bid for child support from non-father
March 15, 2017 11 comments
A Canadian woman has failed in her bid for child support from a man who is not the father of her son.
The Ontario couple had been married for three years by the time the boy was born in March 2009, the Vancouver Sun reports. Her husband, referred to as ‘PZ’ in the ruling, believed the boy, ‘D’. was his. The relationship broke down and the couple separated. A year later, when the boy was four, the truth emerged following a paternity test. The boy’s birth had been the result of the wife’s “dalliance” with another man.
A Justice in the Supreme Court of British Columbia noted that PZ had unsurprisingly been “crestfallen and felt upset and betrayed” at the news.
At the couple’s subsequent divorce, the wife did not apply for child support. Not long afterwards she and her son moved from Ontario to distant British Columbia on the west coast of Canada.
Eighteen months later, however, she suddenly made an application for support after all in the courts of British Columbia, arguing that PZ had acted as the boy’s father before their divorce.
But Supreme Court Justice Robin Baird was unconvinced, saying that while PZ had taken on a parental role, he had only done so on the basis of “a serious and fundamental misapprehension of fact”.
As a result it would not be “the least bit just, appropriate or fair” to make PZ pay for the child. The boy’s actual father bore “the primary responsibility to support D” but the mother had not provided any evidence of his identity or efforts made to locate him and “notify him of his lawful obligation to provide support for the child.” She had also not provided the Court with any evidence of her new partner’s resources.
The Judge noted:
“D would, of course, have considered the respondent to be his father, although they have now been estranged for longer than they lived together and his memories are bound to become vague and dim. I doubt it could truly be said, given D’s tender years and the brevity of the connection between them, that the child formed any durable expectations of the respondent.”
Photo of Victoria, British Columbia by Brandon Godfrey via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence
March 15, 2017
Categories: Children and divorce