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Child support reduction

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Anonymous Asked:

My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage. she is now 15 years old 16 in a few months. She has dropped out of high school against all our efforts to keep her in school. She has seen a psychologist and been cleared of any issues. She just chooses not to go. She says she would rather work and we can't force to go to school. She resides with her mother. Do we have grounds to reduce or stop payments if she gets a job to support herself or reduce them?

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Jennifer M. Long, B.A. J.D.
5 years ago

Under section 31(1) of the Family Law Act, every parent has an obligation to support an unmarried child who is a minor or enrolled in a full-time program of education. However, subsection 31(2) provides that this obligation does not extend to a child who is 16 years of age and has voluntarily withdrawn from parental control. Although your husband’s daughter may have dropped out of school, the fact that she continues to reside with her mother suggests to me that she is not self-supporting, but rather is still financially dependent on her mother, and thus has not fully withdrawn from parental control as contemplated by the Act. The outcomes of these kinds of cases are very fact specific, and I would recommend that your husband consult with a lawyer to discuss the situation in greater detail.

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