In Canada/Ontario, if parents are divorced, do the parents' obligations to contribute to a child's university education expenses change based on their relationship?

I'm looking at 2 cases, one where the child has a good relationship with both parents, and the other where the child does not have the same relationship with father as with mother (mother has custody, father barely sees him).

Does the parent's obligation for providing education change with divorce?

  • In the first case, do the parents have shared custody, or does one parent have sole custody? I expect that this would matter a lot more than the relationship between the parents and child. Sep 19 '19 at 15:58
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    Are you talking about legal obligations that occur with relationships such as custody or guardianship? If there is no law-based obligation, your question is better suited to interpersonal.stackexchange.com or parenting.stackexchange.com Sep 19 '19 at 16:09
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    In Canada, do parents have a legal obligation to contribute to a child's university education expenses at all? That would be my first question, as usually by the time of university a child is no longer a minor, and a university education is not legally required, unlike primary and secondary school.
    – sharur
    Sep 19 '19 at 16:43
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    @sharur: In Canada, postsecondary education expenses may be included in a child support order upon the request of either parent. See Section 7 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Sep 19 '19 at 20:03
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    @MichaelSeifert To be clear, the obligation to pay for higher education for an adult child is one that the court can impose in its discretion, but not automatically a matter of right. From Section 7(1): "In a child support order the court may, on either spouse’s request, provide for an amount to cover all or any portion of the following expenses" The fact that a spouse may request it doesn't imply that the request will necessary be granted.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 19 '19 at 21:00

The law that states that the parents have an obligation to the children's education is called the family act, which states:

Child support is usually paid to support children who are under the age of 19, or who are 19 or older but are unable to support themselves, including because they are going to college or university.

for in the case of divorce I've found information from mondaq

For parents who are divorced or have applied for divorce, the Divorce Act definition of "child of the marriage" applies. An adult child may continue to be entitled to support if he or she is unable to withdraw from his or her parents' charge or obtain the necessities of life.

the site also lays out what the courts think "adult child entitled to support" are:

  • Is the child eligible for student loans or financial assistance?
  • Does the child have reasonable career plans?
  • Does the child have the ability to contribute to his or her own support through part-time employment?
  • What plans did the parents make for the education of the child during the marriage?
  • Could the child have reasonably expected one or both of the parents to have continued to provide support if the marriage had not broken down?
  • Has the child unilaterally terminated a relationship from the parent from whom support is sought?
  • List item

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