Definitions of “Child o f the Marriage”; Adult Children; Obligation of De Facto Parent
unwilling ness to do so appears to be irrelevant to the statutor y definition. A child under
the provincial age of majority may cease to be elig ible for child support as a “child of the
marriage” within t he mean ing of section () of the Divorce Act, if the child has been l iving
with her twenty-year-old boyfriend for seventeen months, has no intention of returning to
the home of either parent, and is no longer dependent on her parents for financial support.
Children under the provincia l age of majority who a re financially dependent while they
continue with their schooling satisf y the definition of “chi ldren of the marriage” under sec-
tion () of the Divorce Act even though they a re alienated from the non-custodial pa rent
who is called upon to pay child support. A divorcing or d ivorced spous e may be ordered to
pay support in respect of an adult child who is unable to achieve sel f-sufficiency by reason
of “illness, d isability, or other cause.” e mere fact that an adult child lacks the ability to
withdraw from parental charge or to obtai n the necessaries of life is not determinative of the
child’s eligibilit y for support; the inability must be shown on the evidence to have arisen or
to continue by reason of an illness, di sability, or other cause recognized by the Divorce Act.
e pursuit of post-secondary education constitutes “other cause” under the definition
of “child of the marriage” in section () of the Divorce Act but each case is fact specific. In
determining whether the pursu it of education is a valid reason for continued dependence, a
court must consider two complex and value-laden questions. e first is whether, considering
all of the child ’s circumstances, the child’s educational pursuits a re reasonable. If so, the court
must next consider whether it is appropriate that the pursuits be financed by the pa rents.
An adult child who is enrolled as a f ull-time student in high school may be found to
be a “child of the marriage” within t he meaning of section () of the Divorce Act, notwith-
standing a “spotty” academic record and prior poor attendance record, where the chi ld is
currently maintai ning a passing average.
A divorcing or divorced spouse can be ordered to pay child support, even though he or she
is not the biological parent of the child, if he or she has acted as a pa rent towa rds the child.
A court may direct the tr ial of an issue as to whether a child falls w ithin the definition of
a “child of the marriage” where existing a ffidavit material is insufficient to resolve the issue.
Boisvert v Bo isvert,  AJ No (QB); Longhurst v Longhurst,  BCJ No (SC); ompson v
Ducharme,  MJ No (CA); HS v PW, NLSC ; omas v omas, NSSC ; Wo uter s v
Wout ers , NWTSC ; Frim v Bra sseur,  OJ No (SCJ); Gar inger v ompson,  SJ No
(QB); compare Wigmore v Wigmore,  PEIJ No (TD); Ladissa v Ladissa,  OJ No (CA). Se e
also SAF v R AM, SKQB (application under e Family Maintenance Act , , SS , c F-.).
Chaulk v Avery, NLTD ; Wou ter s v Wout ers, N WTSC .
Marsh v Marsh,  BCJ No (CA); Prittie v Do rey, BCSC .
Divorce Act, s () (definition of “child of the marriage”); Rebenchuk v Rebenchuk, MBCA ; Sher-
low v Zubko,  AJ No (QB). See also Dumont v Dumont, BCSC (application under the
BC Family Law Act, SBC , c ). And see Rose Branton, “ Exploring Child Suppor t for Adult Children:
e Need for a Broader Conception of ‘Ot her Cause’” () Canadian Family Law Quarterly .
Ethier v Skrudl and, SKCA ; Blanchard v Blanchard, ABCA .
Montalto v Montalto, ABQB ; Lu v Yao, BCSC ; Rebenchuk v Rebenchuk, M BCA ;
Delichte v Rogers, MBQB ; DWM v MAB, NBQB ; Hawco v Myers,  NJ No (CA);
MacLennan v MacLennan,  NSJ No (CA); Eas ton v Coxhead, ONSC ; Cusack v Cusa ck,
 PEIJ No (SC); Geran v Geran, SKCA ; see Section E , below in this chapter.
Bobyn v Bobyn, BCSC at para , Donegan J, citing Nordeen v Nordee n, BCCA ; Lu v
Yao, BCSC .
PGB v JLT,  AJ No (QB).
See Section J, below in t his chapter.
Laroque v Misling,  NWTJ No (SC); Akert v Akert,  SJ No (QB).