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Top court hears Alberta fathers' appeal of support payment ruling
updated Feb 13 2006 09:09 AM MST
Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments on Monday from four
Alberta fathers who are fighting child support rulings.
could have dramatic implications for the finances of
divorced parents across the country.
were all told to make retroactive payments of up to $100,000
after the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled they should have
disclosed they were making more money than they were when
the support order was first issued.
Toronto lawyer, Deirdre Smith, has asked the top court to
reverse that decision. She says the Alberta court
overstepped federal rules.
there is nothing in federal law requiring the parent paying
support to automatically inform the other parent when their
income rises, and to increase payments.
that under the current system, the parent with custody can
ask about changes in the other parent's income whenever they
wish, and can also ask for an increase in child-support
Alberta Court of Appeal really did take this whole area of
law into a new scope and area by making this very strong
suggestion that all support payers have a responsibility to
annually provide financial disclosure whether it's requested
or not, and more importantly to annually change the amount
of child support they are paying whether the mom wants it or
not," she told CBC News on Sunday.
she will argue that the Alberta Court of Appeal's ruling
that these payments should be renegotiated once a year is
not written into the federal law.
it would be best if families were given flexibility, rather
than forcing them to open up custody agreements on an annual
Gus Sleiman of the Men's Educational Support Association in
Calgary says it's not fair to ask for money after the fact.
an unreasonable kind of expectation of a non-custodial
parent to pay when at the time they have spent their money
and they are under the presumption they already paid their
child support," Sleiman told CBC News.
© CBC 2006