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Child Support Cases - Adult Children
¶ 4 Justice Métivier's order directed the father to make annual disclosure of his income with a view to revising child support including contributions to the children's section 7 expenses, as required. This obligation was ignored by the father. The mother's notice of motion dated July 31, 2003 seeks a revision of the father's support obligation as contemplated under section 2(j) of Justice Métivier's order, as well as a declaration that Cory is a dependant child until he has completed the auto mechanic apprentice program in which he is currently enrolled.
¶ 5 In or about July of 2001 Cory began his current apprenticeship to become a qualified auto mechanic. The applicant father's position is that Cory became self-supporting at that time and ceased to be legally entitled to child support. For the reasons outlined below, I agree with this submission.
¶ 6 The auto mechanic apprenticeship is three years in duration and is set up on the basis that the apprentice works for ten months of the year doing motor vehicle repair work in a garage and is paid for his work. Then, for two months, teaching is done in the sense of formal courses. Cory in fact received credit for his previous community college courses in auto mechanics and therefore he has only been required to take two courses thus far in his apprenticeship program. The apprentice normally contributes to Employment Insurance during the ten months working period and then collects benefits during the teaching portion (two months). The program is designed to allow the apprentice to be self-supporting. In Cory's case, he is employed in his uncle's garage and earns $10.00-$11.00 an hour for a work week of anywhere between 20-42 hours. In addition, he works weekends (16 hours) at a Canadian Tire garage at a rate of $7.25 per hour. His evidence is that he works about 36.54 hours per week. His gross income is about $20,000.00 annually.
¶ 7 It is instructive to examine Cory's deductions from his gross income (see his 2002 "Statement of Professional Activities" for 2002 (volume 3, tab 11 of the C.R.)). In 2002 his income tax return identifies employment income of $5,084.00 and professional income of $17,295.00 (gross). Deductions from his gross professional income include $2,727.00 in respect of his automobile, $1,477.00 for his automobile insurance, $1,505.00 for maintenance and repair of his automobile, $654.00 for his meals and entertainment, $808.00 for "office expenses" and $5,200.00 for the purchase of tools. Cory has explained that auto mechanics must acquire their own tools and therefore he devotes a significant portion of his income to that purpose. The purchase of tools is properly viewed as a capital acquisition which should be depreciated rather than deducted from income. The other "deductions" are in the nature of personal expenses and are therefore questionable. In any event, I conclude that for the purpose of ascertaining entitlement to child support, Cory's income is, as noted, in the $20,000.00 range. He is clearly self-supporting. I am satisfied on the evidence that Cory's income has been and will be similar to his 2002 earnings throughout the balance of his apprenticeship. The mother has been providing Cory with free accommodation and meals. Her admirable commitment to Cory, in contrast to the father's regrettable lack of commitment to him over the years cannot be the basis on which to decide whether Cory continues to be entitled to child support.