Precinct 333

Thursday, January 13, 2005

How Long Does Child Support Continue?

Now I’m not opposed to child support payments being ordered by a court after a divorce. But it seems to me that there have to be some reasonable limits. They’ve crossed the line in Canada.

The doctor at the centre of the case, William Neufeld, is angry that he must shell out as much as $22,000 a year to see his daughter Jennifer through at least three years of medical school at the University of Calgary.

"It's just very wrong to teach the children of this province that if they happen to be the children of a person who makes more than an average amount of money, they can just sit on their ass and do absolutely nothing and expect to be paid for it, as long as they're making good marks," he told the Vancouver Province Tuesday.

In making the ruling, one judge referred to Jennifer as "an exemplary student."

The appeals court based its ruling on the fact that a separation agreement Neufeld signed after splitting with Jennifer's mother Barbara in 1999 did not set a cap on his educational support for either Jennifer or her younger brother.

Barbara Neufeld's only income is from spousal support, the ruling noted.
The ruling also took into account William Neufeld's income of $170,000 a year, and said it might have come to a different conclusion for a child "simply going to college because there is nothing better to do."

Now wait. Support payments are to continue into the child’s LATE TWENTIES! Where I grew up, the last nine or ten of those years constitute ADULTHOOD! And while it isn’t unusual to insist upon payment of college tuition (despite the fact that the law does not require married parents to pay a child’s college tuition), isn’t that the point at which legally mandated support ought to stop?

By the way, please notice that the mother in this case contributes NOTHING – because the courts have given her a support package that lets her live comfortably without working. So this guy is being sponged for probably something approaching $100,000 when one considers that there is a second child involved and that we are talking in terms of Canadian dollars, not a currency that has a value close to that of the American dollar.


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