Child Support: Agreeing to “No Variation” No Guarantee the Court Will Not Interfere

GEO_edited-1The parties in Skotnicki v. Cayen, 2019 ONSC 4831 separated in 2000 and for years struggled with child support disputes involving their three children. Finally, in December of 2017 the divorced couple entered into an agreement for child support which provided that it would “not be subject to any variation for any reason whatsoever.” The intent and expectation was that this phrase would put an end to their ongoing squabbles. Ms. Cayen even went so far as to waive support arrears and agree to a lower amount in exchange for an order that would be truly “final”. Did it work? Sort of…

In July of 2019 Mr. Skotnicki brought an application to vary child support alleging two material changes:

1. Their daughter, Natalie, moved out of her mother’s home in November 2018; completed her university education in December 2018 and commenced full-time employment in January 2019.

2. Their son, Joseph, moved out of his mother’s home to attend university in another province, living on his own.

With respect to Joseph, his father argued that he should no longer be required to pay his ex-wife $900 a month as he was paying equivalent funds to his son who was living in the same city he was. Joseph also spent a considerable amount of time in his father’s home, although he did not live with him.

After the father served his variation application, Joseph’s mother began giving her son $450.00 from the funds received from Mr. Skotnicki, keeping $450.00 for herself.

Mr. Justice Williams held that a support order restricting variation for “any reason whatsoever” is strong and specific wording, yet still does not bar a variation if the provisions of s. 17 of the Divorce Act are fulfilled.

However, the Court dismissed the father’s application to terminate Natalie’s support as of January 2019, holding that the order respecting Natalie, by virtue of the December 2017 order, terminated in March of 2019 and no uncontemplated material change had occurred.

With respect to Joseph, Williams J. found that Joseph’s move and change of university was clearly contemplated at the time of the 2017 order, and his mother’s evidence that she had paid for his return trips to her home on six occasions and kept a room for him in her home, was sufficient to continue the father’s obligation.

The time-worn adage that child support is never final is still true, however, in this case the Court easily found a way to respect the “no variation whatsoever” consent order.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

One thought on “Child Support: Agreeing to “No Variation” No Guarantee the Court Will Not Interfere

  1. “Family Law” is legalese for the Lawyer’s & Judges Continuous Employment Act. I am aware of dozens of lawyers who do nothing, and nothing else. Like all lawyers and judges, the act with conscious disregard of the Constitution of Canada, kinda secretly DENYING its existence. Why? Because they realize that they have no legal right to rule on cases that involve Constitutional RIGHTS & FREEDOMS. Their positions and paychecks brand them ad GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, and thereby bound and governed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and therein BOUND by at least TWO provisions that FORBID discrimination by gender. Yes, in 1982 the feminists wouldn’t believe THE PATRIARCHY wasn’t lurking under their beds waiting to deny ‘equality’ to women. Unless they said it TWICE! Then, of course, once women were forced to participate in politics (in spite of their natural inclinations), AND the lesbians among them, and homosexuals found the nerve to boast about their perversion, we find that THEIR definition of equal rights meant that of course, women had MORE equal rights than men, and MARRIAGE itself (which our forefathers had wisely denied them – as against their nature) was to be destroyed by the ‘legal profession’ claiming “Right to Rule” in a field that had heretofore been ruled by GOD, and the couple’s oaths.

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