In cases of shared custody, in other words, cases where both parents have custody and the children spend approximately the same amount of time with each parent, the amount of child support is discretionary. How judges should exercise this discretion has resulted in a large amount of litigation.
The most important case dealing with this issue is Contino. I reviewed the Ontario Court of Appeal decision here.
Well, yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision of the appeal from the Supreme Court. You can find the decision here.
I’ll comment on this in more detail in the near future. But, it’s interesting to note that this is the *4th* court that’s heard this case, and all 4 courts came to different decisions. The motions judge decided that child support should be $100 per month. The Divisional Court decided that child support should be $688 per month. The Court of Appeal decided that child support should be $399.61 per month. And the Supreme Court of Canada decided that child support should be $500 per month.
While the Supreme Court ultimately sets the rules, it’s interesting to note that so many intelligent judges reviewed the exact same situation in great detail yet came to such different conclusions. You roll the dice when you go to court…
What do you think of this decision? How should child support be dealt with in situations of shared custody?