Estate & Family Law Blog

Ignoring a family law order can lead to stiff penalties


Any free citizen of British Columbia has the right to move away to the province of his or her choice. Doing so, however, does not mean an existing family law order issued in BC no longer applies. A man living in eastern Canada perhaps thought that was case, though he has learned otherwise, as his very freedom is now under threat.

In 2011, an Ontario judge issued an order for child support to a local father. Three years later, he moved to Nova Scotia. The support order was transferred to that province, but the man did not make any payments. Beginning in Feb. 2016, numerous attempts were made to compel the man to live up to his obligation, but they all failed.

As of March 2017, the total amount in arrears exceeded $34,000. At no point has the man offered any explanation for his refusal to make child support payments. Even the revocation of his driver’s licence and passport failed to elicit a payment, or even an excuse. A judge gave him until June 2017 to pay half the owed amount and submit a payment plan for the balance. Failure to do so will trigger the issue of a warrant for his arrest, and he could face jail time.

It is unfortunate when a parent does not live up to an obligation to financially support his or her children. Though it may be frustrating for the recipient parent, it is important to continue to pursue the matter until justice is done, and the best interests of the child are met. Any person experiencing trouble with a family law matter in British Columbia should think about meeting with a lawyer to discuss the situation. A lawyer can advise a person on his or her rights and may be able to help set things right.

Source:, “Sydney man’s drivers licence, passport revoked over unpaid child support“, May 1, 2017

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