The Canadian Bar Insurance Association

Emancipation and financial obligation

By Andrew Feldstein

This case raises the question; in what circumstances do parents have an obligation to support children who have completely withdrawn from their care? The judge was tasked with determining whether a 17-year-old girl’s father should financially support her academic pursuits at an American university after she was emancipated.

The child was originally in her mother’s primary care but was then shifted into a shared custody arrangement. When the child was approximately 14 years old, her mother moved to Florida, and the mother and father agreed on consent to the father having full custody of the child until her 18thbirthday. The child left her father’s home just before she turned 17 years old due to a dispute that they had over the child’s plan to attend university in Florida. She then obtained a declaration that she had withdrawn from parental control under s. 65 of the Children’s Law Reform Act. No person was given custodial or access rights to the child. The father tried to appeal this decision, but it was upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Read More at Feldstein Family Law Group Blog

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