Who is a 'Parent'? 'Standing in the Place of a Parent' & Canada's Child Support Guidelines S.5
67 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2007 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015
Date Written: July 12, 2007
Canada has a broad and functional approach to the legal definition of the family, and gives significant legal recognition to social parents, who may seek custody or access, and will often have child support obligations. This paper deals with the controversies concerning the obligations of those who "stand in the place of a parent" under the definition in Canada's Divorce Act, or "demonstrate a settled intent to treat a child as their own" under provincial legislation such as the Ontario Family Law Act, to pay an amount of child support that as "appropriate" under the Child Support Guidelines s. 5. The issues that face lawyers and judges in dealing with cases involving the child support obligations of those who are not biological parents - most frequently cases about the child support obligations of step-fathers - are an aspect of one of the most contentious issue in family law today, both in Canada and other countries, the question of "who is a parent." The paper includes consideration of the way in which Canadian courts have dealt with cases of paternity fraud.
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