Spousal and Child Support and Consumer Proposals

Spousal and Child Support and Consumer Proposals

It is always unfortunate when relationships break down. It is even more unfortunate when the former partners cannot agree over financial matters and it is yet worse if there are children involved. If the partners cannot agree on matters in a separation it may be necessary for the courts to decide things.

This was the situation in a case involving a couple (hereinafter man and woman) that met in an on-line chat room in 2000. They communicated in this fashion for a few months until they met in person. Their relationship progressed fairly quickly and in September the same year the man left Quebec and move in with the woman.

When they started cohabiting the woman had a son aged 10 and the man also had a son that was 14. In addition, the man had a daughter that was 7 though she was living mostly with her mother in Quebec. In 2001 the couple purchased a house together with joint title and possession. In 2004 the couple separate. Their messy separation finally came to court in 2008.

The first matter to be decided by the court was in loco parentis. This is a legal term by which a person can be held liable to pay child support for a child of which he she is not a parent. After a thorough review of relevant case law the court came to the conclusion that the man was indeed liable to pay child support for the woman’s boy. The reasoning was that the boy had no contact with his real father and although they had only lived together for four years the actions of the man towards the boy could reasonably be interpreted as assuming the role of a father.

The court then moved on to the issue of spousal support to be paid to the woman. During the time the couple lived together the woman was unemployed or studied and the man was the primary breadwinner. However, it needs to be noted that the financial situation between them was complicated and the court had considerable documentation to peruse.

In their relationship they had also acquired considerable debts and after the separation they both contacted Licensed Insolvency Trustees for financial consultation. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is a person licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) in Canada to manage and administer consumer proposals and bankruptcies. As a result of these consultations the man filed for bankruptcy and at the time of the trial his debt had been extinguished. The woman filed for a consumer proposal and she met payments for a while, but eventually fell behind and the consumer proposal was canceled.

After long and extensive argumentation the court came to the conclusion that the man should pay spousal and child support in the sum of CAD 25,000 for the years 2004 to 2008.

For further financial and debt management advice contact a licensed Licensed Insolvency Trustee.