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Old 10-11-2012, 02:33 AM
Old Lawyer Old Lawyer is offline
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1. You are correct that estrangement, alienation or just plain brattiness does not remove obligation for child support (at least not directly)

2. However a judge will be very sympathetic to your desire to see proof that child is in school and still living with mother. Judges very greatly on what the mother can be required to provide but these are not unreasonable
- copy of daughter's driver's licence to prove she still lives with mother
- copy of her report cards
- evidence that she is enrolled full time at school.

3. The only thing you have to be careful about is that if you were underpaying based on guidelines the mother can go back three years asking for an increase --- but only if the child is still a child of the marriage.

4. On these issues it is relevant whether you were legally married or not. If you look at the definition of child in the Divorce Act and in the Children's Law Reform act they are different. Without looking at the words the divorce act refers to a child being a child if over 18 and unable to provide necessities of life due to illness or other reason and courts have said other reason includes full time attendance at school.

I think the Children's law reform act or the Family Law aCt-- which apply if you were not married specifically refers to full time attendance. There are some differences in wording in any event.

Whether the child needs to be in full time attendance and whether the child has to pass vary greatly from judge to judge. Some will say that they have to pass and have to take a full course load. Some say as long as they are making a reasonable effort that is good enough.

My personal view is that it should be somewhere in between. Kids are not as focused as they were a generation ago and drift about in school. This is a North American trend and can not be blamed on a particular child.

But absolutely I believe that you are entitled to be informed of how the child is doing at school if you are paying support. Some mom's will say it is the child's information and the child is an adult and they can't provide it.

Very few judges are sympathetic with that. Particularly with a girl. If the mother wants to say she is still a child and the mother is responsible for her she can not on the other hand say. damn if I know what she is taking and how she is doing.

and none have any sympathy with --none of your business

And while this has nothing to do with your legal problem my advice as a person who has seen quite a bit is not to give up on a relationship with your daughter no matter how much she says she doesn't want it.

You both have a great many years ahead to be father and daughter and grandfather to her children and you really should not deprive yourself of that experience because of an attitude born of her childishness or her over identification with her mother's dispute with you.

When she is 60 and you are gone she will wonder why you didn't care not why she cut you off. --- and if she does --- do you really want her to have to live with that guilt. When she has children she will feel badly that her father doesn't want to be a grandfather when likely nothing is further from the truth.

Take every opportunity to reopen communication so that your conscience is clear that she will know any deficiencies in her relationship with her father are not because he didn't care. --- but don't feel guilty about any bad feelings on her part born of her over identification with her mother's issues. That is history. She is still part of your future whether she knows it or not.