For custodial parents throughout the Toronto area, child support plays an important role. Depending on the specific situation the custodial parent finds he or she is in, it may be used to cover a variety of expenses related to the children including food and clothing. In the province of Ontario however, it is possible that due to provincial legislation, not all payments are making it to some parents.
Those parents are single parents who may be receiving benefits from the Ontario Disability Support Program or Ontario Works. In those situations it is possible that the provincial government might claw back the funds paid to a custodial parent by the noncustodial parent.
This can be frustrating not only to the custodial parent, who could use that money to cover expenses for the children, but the noncustodial parent who is making the payments as well. This is understandable when one considers that most parents want to do what they can to provide for their children in all ways.
A class-action lawsuit is attempting to change this policy. The basis of this lawsuit is that the treatment of noncustodial parents, whose child support payments are not actually making it to the custodial parent, is a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This is not the first time this issue has been brought up in Canada. British Columbia already changed its laws regarding the matter. Earlier this month child-support payments became exempt from social assistance in that province.
How this matter will be resolved remains to be seen. We will provide updates as they become available.