Gordon R. McKenzie



At 73, Octavian Dragulin's eye condition forced him to retire from his job as a security guard. His meagre pension was not enough to live on, so, he looked to his children for support, despite not talking to them for 14 years. Coincidentally, his daughter, Helen, won a million dollars in a lottery (Dragulin v. Dragulin).

Ontario's Family Law Act requires adult children to support a needy parent, if the parent has supported or cared for the child and if the child can afford it.

The Ontario Court of Justice decided that Octavian needed support, and Helen could afford to pay from her $4,500 a month budget surplus. Mr. Dragulin also needed to prove he had provided care or support, not both. Helen admitted he had supported the family. Octavian's verbal abuse of Helen did not destroy his case.

Octavian could not increase his standard of living because Helen won the lottery. The amount of support should reflect the family's modest standard of living while they lived together. The Court tossed Octavian's claims for vacation, gifts, his new wife's expenses, expensive long distance calls, publicly funded drug expenses and taxes for a vacant property. Still, his reasonable expenses exceeded his income and he was awarded $400 per month, well below his claim of $2,500.00 per month.

Few parental support cases are brought to court; perhaps because most people do honour their mother and father.

This article is presented as general information only and is not to be relied on as legal advice. You should contact your lawyer to see how the law applies to your circumstances before any action is taken.

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