Danelle Michel v. Sean Graydon

(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)

(Certain information not available to the public)


Family law - Support, Child support, Retroactive support - Family law - Support - Child support - Retroactive support - Mother of child seeking retroactive variation of child support for child who was adult at time of application - Whether a court has jurisdiction to make a retroactive child support award where the application is made after child has ceased to be child of marriage.


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The applicant and respondent resided with one another as common law spouses from 1990 until 1994. Their daughter, A.G., was born in 1991. When the relationship ended, A.G. lived with Ms. Michel. Child support was originally dealt with by way of a Provincial Court order that was subsequently subject to a consent variation order in March, 2001, whereby Mr. Graydon agreed to pay child support in the amount of $341 per month, based on his Federal Child Support Guidelines, SOR/97-175 income. Mr. Graydon refused Ms. Michel’s request at the time for an annual review of the child support amount and no review was conducted during the period that A.G. was a child. In 2012, Mr. Graydon obtained an order cancelling the child support on the ground that A.G. had reached the age of majority, had completed a certificate program and was working. In 2015, Ms. Michel applied for a retroactive increase of child support back to 2001 pursuant to s. 152 of the Family Law Act, S.B.C. 2011, c. 25. Mr. Graydon contested the jurisdiction of the court to make such an order on the basis that A.G. was not a “child of the marriage”. At the time the application was heard in Provincial Court, A.G. was 24 years of age. The trial judge concluded that Mr. Graydon was obliged to pay $23,000 in retroactive child support. This decision was overturned on appeal. Ms. Michel’s appeal was dismissed.