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When child support is awarded after a divorce, it must paid

A married couple in Alberta may choose to end their emotional and legal commitment to each other if things aren't working out. Parents, however, share the enduring commitment to support their children, even after a divorce. This will likely include the ongoing payment of child support. Not only should such payments be a moral obligation, they are also a legal one, though there are those who try to ignore it. 

Minor celebrity Dean McDermott, best known for leaving his spouse, Canadian television personality Mary-Jo Eustace, for famed actress Tori Spelling, is being accused of neglecting his financial duty to his first child. He and Eustace, who divorced in 2006, have one son together, who is now 18 years old. According to Eustace, McDermott has fallen behind on his support payments.

She claims her ex-husband stopped paying support on July 1, 2016, the date of his first missed payment. Eustace is taking him to court and, in her affidavit, claims he had previously been two years delinquent in support payments, but that she had willingly renegotiated. She states he owes her $100,800 between Feb. 1, 2017 and July 1, 2020. McDermott and his wife, Spelling, are reputed to be in financial difficulty, though Eustace points out they live in a $2 million rental home.

Child support helps custodial parents who are trying to get by on a single income after a divorce or separation. Paying parents should not shirk this responsibility, nor are they legally entitled to do so. While a change in financial situation may merit a modification of the amount, one is not entitled to simply stop paying. If a person is having difficulty collecting child support, it may be worth talking to a lawyer who understands Alberta family law to find out what his or her rights are.

Source:, "Dean McDermott's Ex-Wife Alleges He Owes Thousands In Unpaid Child Support", Brent Furdyk, Feb. 21, 2017

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