Nova Scotia

Stephen McNeil hopes for national support in deadbeat parent crackdown

Too many parents are shirking their financial responsibilities to their children, Premier Stephen McNeil said Monday.

Parents shouldn't be able to avoid paying child support by leaving province

Premier Stephen McNeil hopes there is some national support for cracking down on deadbeat parents who flee their province rather than pay child support. (CBC)

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil wants national support to deal with dead-beat parents who flee to other jurisdictions rather than pay court-ordered child support.

"There are too many parents who have not been fully paying their child support​," McNeil said Monday. ​"There's issues of people leaving one jurisdiction to another."

​The topic is in the spotlight again after a Nova Scotia judge issue​d a warrant for the arrest of a Halifax developer who was found guilty of failing to pay $1.7-million dollars in child and spousal support. Vrege Armoyan left the country when his contempt of court order trial began in April. He faces a four-year prison sentence.

​McNeil says his government is looking to tighten up the rules to force those who shirk their responsibilities to pay up. ​

"It's one of the reasons why we're looking at what we can do internally in our province, and it's one of the reasons I'll be raising it nationally​", the premier said.

He said he is "looking for support to ensure that when the courts deem that a parent is to pay child support, that that child support is collected and is distributed to their children."
​​
Fleeing the country would ​still be a way out, but going away to another province shouldn't be, McNeil said.

"Parents have a responsibility to raise their children, whether or not they get along is up to them. But when you bring a child into this world together, you have a responsibility to look after that child. And what we're saying is when the courts deem how much your child support should be, we expect you to pay it," he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jean Laroche

Reporter

Jean Laroche has been a CBC reporter for 32 years. He's been covering Nova Scotia politics since 1995 and has been at Province House longer than any sitting member.

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