Grandparents Sued for Child Support


A North Bay mother has sued her daughter’s grandparents for $760 in monthly child support, plus $47,000 in back pay.   In what may become a more common situation as grandparents assert their “legal rights” to access to their grandchildren, the child’s parents demand that those grandparents share the responsibility for the child – especially financial responsibility.  Of particular concern in this case is that the Grandparents stepped in to keep their granddaughter out of foster care and that is part of the reason that the child’s mother is now suing them for child support after the children’s aid society allowed the child to return to her care.

John Schuman provided a legal commentary on this story from North Bay to CBC Radio Programs across the country and to Global Radio.  You can hear the details of the case and John’s analysis of it, by clicking on the players to the left or the CBC and Global Audio below.

Child Support Laws in Ontario clearly allow grandparents, and step parents to become liable for child support.  This happens when the grandparent or step parent acts like a parent (rather than a grandparent or step parent) to the child.  Anyone who stands in the place of a parent to a child becomes responsible for paying child support for that child. 

Grandparents do have rights under Ontario Family Law.  However, with the recognition of those rights may be a recognition of responsibilities if grandparents want to be actively involved in raising their grandchildren.

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To contact John Schuman, Certified Specialist in Family Law, call 416-446-5847, email him at, or use the form on this page.

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