Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal that could cost millions in child support
MacLean's magazine, and various other publications, Canadian Press, TARA BRAUTIGAM, August 18, 2005
TORONTO (CP) - Canada's highest court has agreed to hear a case that's expected to determine whether parents across the country who are either separated or divorced would be required to pay millions of dollars in retroactive child support.
Toronto lawyers filed the appeal on behalf of four Alberta fathers ordered to make immediate child support payments stretching back as far as 1997.
The appeal was launched to challenge an Alberta court decision in January that required fathers to pay large sums of money in child support based on changes in their incomes over the years.
In one case, a man was required to pay more than half of his annual earnings.
The fathers were paying child support according to prior court orders and separation agreements, lead counsel Deidre Smith said from her Toronto office.
One of them "is about as opposite from a deadbeat dad as you can get," Smith said.
"(He is) being whacked with this significant retroactive award when a trial judge has said, 'Hey, buddy, you did everything you are supposed to do."'
The fathers can't be named because of a publication ban.
"They really resent being called deadbeats or being told by the community that they haven't taken care of their kids when they've been paying what the court order or agreement told them what to pay," Smith said.
The problem has surfaced because federal payment guidelines announced eight years ago have not been fully implemented, she added.
When the guidelines were introduced, Ottawa included a process by which the government could calculate child support payments based on tax returns and notify parents of required adjustments in pay.
But the provinces had to sign on, which hasn't happened.
As it stands, separated or divorced parents receive a court order telling them how much they owe, or work out an agreement with their lawyers.
But as child access arrangements change, parents remarry, have Rmore children and incomes fluctuate, the original support arrangement often no longer accurately reflects each parent's situation, Smith said.
"We know that statistically the vast majority of Canadian dads have increased income after separation," she said. "If they went back and looked at their old orders, there probably would be additional support owing. I've got to think it's in the millions."
Virtually anyone who is paying child support under a court order or separation agreement made within the last 15 years may face large amounts of back claims, she noted.
One of the divorced fathers involved in the appeal has been ordered to pay $100,000 in retroactive child support, more than half his current annual income. Another father, whose annual income has never exceeded $23,000, has been instructed to pay an additional $10,000.
The court is expected to begin hearing the appeal between February and May next year.
Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, USA, August 26, 2008
HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.
The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.
She tried to kill herself afterward.
The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.
Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.
A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002
KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.
Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.
But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.
Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.
"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.
Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006
SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.
The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.
"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term. Read More ..
This overview paper summarizes recent research on girls who exhibit aggressive and violent behaviours. It defines relevant terms, outlines factors which may contribute to girls' aggression and violence, and presents ideas for preventing these behaviours. A list of resources is also included. 2002, 13p. Read More ..