After almost a decade of neglecting to pay child support, a moneyed Abbotsford father who threatened to shun his son if his ex-wife took him to court, was ordered by a provincial judge to fork over thousands to his former spouse.
In his Feb. 13 decision, published recently online, Justice Kenneth Skilnick called the father’s refusal to pay the child support as “remarkable” and said the threats to his former wife amounted to “emotional blackmail.”
The divorced couple, identified in court documents only by their initials in court, married in 2008 and broke it off 17 months later. Their son has been in his mother’s custody ever since.
The father paid nothing to his former spouse until a December 2019 interim court order forced him to start paying $210 a month. He tried to argue his financial support was not required because other people has stepped up to provide for his son.
The father also argued he had paid for some support in the past, such as “karate lessons and video games,” but later admitted it was his own parents who had helped him make those payments.
“In his opinion this amounts to the same thing as if he had paid them,” Skilnick said in his ruling. “When parents bring a child into the world, they have a joint and ongoing legal obligation to support their children according to their income earning ability. This is not something that the parties can bargain away.”
Skilnick said the father attempted to be “secretive about his financial position” by breaching a court order and not disclosing the proper financial documents. Skilnick estimated his net worth at over $1 million.
The father did admit to having $900,000 tied up in two rental properties, a relatively new vehicle, pricey motorcycle, trailer and $7,000 watch – but also claimed to be hampered by tens of thousands in credit-card debt. He also said that he couldn’t work anymore because of car accidents.
He failed to provide any evidence for either of these excuses.
Skilnick ruled the father’s “lack of proper disclosure of his financial affairs, the selfish reasons for refusing to pay child support, and the emotional blackmail of threatening to stop seeing his child” were calculated into his decision.
The final ruling states the father must pay $55,738 in retroactive payments, along with a monthly $1,500 on top of future child support payments.