Canadian Money
A mother that abandoned her children is now suing them for $3,000 in parental support. Image: Flickr / GoodNCrazy / CC-BY

Canadian law currently states that children are responsible for financially supporting their parents. In 2000, four siblings were sued for parental support by the mom who abandoned them decades ago. After nearly 12 years, the children’s attorney is suggesting the court throw out the case.

Canada’s parental support law

In Canada, there is a law that requires adult children to support their parents, if it is necessary. The Canadian Criminal Code states that:

Everyone one is under a legal duty … to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder, or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and is unable to provide himself with the necessaries of life.”

The law has been interpreted several times to include the support of a parent. However, court opinions on parental support have been split over the years, and the law is controversial.

Man sued for parental support

Ken Anderson is a 47-year-old truck driver who lives in Oliver, B.C. At the age of 15, Anderson’s mother abandoned him and his siblings when she moved without them and left them to fend for themselves. Thirty years later, in 2000, that mother sued Anderson and his siblings for parental support, as she was unable to support herself. The lawsuit asked for $750 a month from each of her four children, for a total of $3,000 per month Canadian (about $2,900 in US dollars). The lawsuit has been ongoing since then.

Anderson claims no responsibility

Though Anderson admits that the woman suing him for parental support is his mother, he claims no further responsibility for parental support.

“We don’t have a relationship. I haven’t talked to her in years and years and years,” he told CBC News. “She’s just out to make our life miserable.”

Anderson has asked the courts to throw out the court case entirely.

Questions about parental support law

In 2007, the British Columbia Law Institute suggested that the parental support law be entirely repealed. In 2005, The Family Law Act in Alberta was updated and removed the parental support provision of the law. In the last five decades, there have been about 10 applications for a legal decision for parental support. Ken Anderson and his siblings have asked, through their lawyer, for this 11-year-old lawsuit to be thrown out of court. The judge in charge of the case has reserved decision to consider the merits of the case.

Sources

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2011/09/mother-sues-abandoned-children-for-parental-support/
Canada.com: http://www.canada.com/life/being+sued+parental+support+wants+case+dismissed/5432657/story.html
TheStar.com: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1057664–b-c-man-sued-by-mother-for-parental-support-calls-for-end-to-lawsuit
Duhaime: http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/FamilyLaw/LawArticle-353/Parental-Support-The-Obligation-to-Support-a-Parent-in-Canada.aspx

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