PooranLaw Published in Canadian Family Law Quarterly

PooranLaw is honoured to be published in the March 2022 edition of Canadian Family Law Quarterly. 

In their article, Child Support for Adult Children and Children with a Disability: The Impact of ODSP, the Disability Tax Credit, RDSP and RESP1, Stephanie Dickson, Senior Associate at PooranLaw and Melanie Battaglia2, Partner at Battaglia Law, review the complexities pertaining to financially caring for an adult ‘‘child” with a disability.

Read the publication


In Ontario, there is a tangled web of public benefits, tax credits and investment tools available to adults living with disabilities. It is no wonder then, that the family law bar continues to grapple with issues of child support for those who attain the age of majority yet are unable to withdraw from parental support due to disability. In his October 7, 2019 newsletter, Epstein’s This Week in Family Law3, the late Philip Epstein commented on Morden v. Kelly4, a decision by Madam Justice Catrina Braid of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In that decision, Justice Braid was addressing support for a 25-year-old child born with serious cognitive and physiological disabilities, including severe autism, cerebral palsy and significant developmental delay. At the end of his commentary, Mr. Epstein noted, ‘‘I was not aware of the Passport Funding program in Ontario and I suspect similar programs exist in most of Canada. This is an important program designed to help families who have children with developmental issues. In these days of harsh government cut backs for the under privileged, I can only hope that the Passport Funding program continues.”  Often, there is a lack of information and understanding about the various funding options and programs available to families, as evidenced by Mr. Epstein’s comments about Passport Funding. Indeed, the case law that examines the issue of determining support for an adult ‘‘child” with a disability continues to develop. The approach, however, compels family law lawyers and judges to consider the child’s needs and means, including provincial and federal sources of income.


1 This article was originally published for the Six-Minute Family Law Lawyer program organized annually by the Law Society of Ontario.

2 Stephanie Dickson, LL.B./B.C.L. is a Senior Associate at PooranLaw practicing in the area of Wills, Trusts, Estates, Human Rights, Consent, Capacity and Legal Decision Making, Social Benefits, Disability Tax Appeals, Microboards and Not-for-Profit/Charitable Corporate Governance. Melanie Battaglia, LL.B./M.A., is a Partner at Battaglia Law, practicing in the area of family law, education law, civil, estate and guardianship litigation. Special thank you to our Associate, Zahra Attir, for her legal research and editing.

3 Epstein’s This Week in Family Law, Fam. L. Nws. 2019-40 (October 7, 2019).

4 Morden v. Kelly, 2019 ONSC 4620, 2019 CarswellOnt 14239 (Ont. S.C.J.), additional reasons 2019 CarswellOnt 16724 (Ont. S.C.J.) [Morden].