22 February 2013
I Stand to be Corrected, Somewhat.
Posted by Jonathan M. Lazar.
Last year I commented on the post-Trial decision of Kerpan v. Vovers, where Mr. Vovers was deemed to have been ‘served’ with initial legal proceedings dating back to the early ‘90’s. He was therefore technically responsible for over $200,000 in past–due child support owing for his daughter, Jade. There were secondary legal issues brought up by Mr. Vovers, such as when child support was to be paid until, or whether the arrears of support should be cancelled in any event. The Trial Judge did not rule on those parts, back then.
Well, Mr. Vovers went back to Court to argue the underlying ‘fairness’ of the now $234,000 owing in child support arrears. His present counsel, Ms. Harpreet Dosanjh, was successful in having all the arrears cancelled. The main basis for Mr. Justice Butler’s present decision, aside from Mr. Vovers medical or financial difficulties, was that Mr. Vovers was “unaware of the order for a long period of time,” and despite attempts to contact his daughter “the mother [had] taken active steps to prevent [Mr. Vovers] from contacting his daughter.” As such, using the “grossly unfairness” test under S.96(2) of the Family Relations Act, all arrears were dismissed. To truly take the Trial decision and flip it entirely on its back, Ms. Kerpan was ordered to pay Mr. Vovers $10,500 in costs and disbursements. For your reading pleasure the recent decision can be found here.
When one compares the diametrically opposing results from one decision to the other, it makes one wonder what was ever achieved for the child, Jade? Regardless of the dynamics between her parents’ relationship, or lack thereof, and despite the obvious estrangement between the parents; somehow, somewhere Jade either did not get the full financial support she could have from both her parents, or she did not get the full emotional support she could have from both her parents. Either way, the clear loss in this whole saga appears to have been absorbed entirely by Jade.