It came to light this week that Justin Bieber may have had a child with a 20-year old female fan who now claims he is the father of her 3-month old child.
The "Baby" singer is dismissing the paternity allegations as "rumors" and "gossip", however this matter is incredibly complex as there are claims of statutory rape floating around given that at the time of the act the singer was only 16, 2 years shy from the age of consent in the jurisdiction that the child was conceived in.
Rumors and allegations aside, if it is proven that Justin Bieber is in fact the biological father of the child, then chances are he will be required to pay support. This would be undoubtedly so if he was a resident of Ontario. The Family Law Act, which applies to unmarried couples who have together parented a child, states pursuant to s. 31 that "every parent has an obligation to provide support for his or her unmarried child who is a minor or is enrolled in a full time program of education, to the extent that the parent is capable of doing so." Given his status as "world's richest teen", Justin Bieber could be on the hook for quite a bit of child support, for a quite long period of time.
Let's hypothesize that Justin Bieber was a resident in Ontario, and that the biological mother of the child brought a claim for child support while maintaining residence in the state of California. Could an order for child support obtained in California be enforceable in the province of Ontario?
In order to answer this question we must look at the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act. Firstly, it is important to note that Ontario has formal arrangements with various "reciprocating jurisdictions" which consist of all Canadian provinces and territories, the United States and other countries, to enforce each other's family support orders. Therefore, through the above mentioned legislation a support order can either be obtained, varied or enforced within a reciprocating jurisdiction without having to incur the related expenses to travel thereto.
What would the process be then for Justin Bieber's fan "gone wild" to obtain and enforce a support order from California.
Pursuant to sections 9 to 16 of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, she would do the following:
- She would have to fill out a set of support application forms which ask for information that would normally be included in a court Application, thus giving the judge all the requisite, relevant and necessary facts to base a decision on.
- The support application forms would have to signed and sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public in order for the court to accept them.
- The application forms would then be sent to the reciprocity office in the "home" province, territory or state. The reciprocity office in the "home" province, territory or state would then forward the application forms to the jurisdiction of the other parent, in this case Justin Bieber.
- Once, Justin Bieber receives the forms he would have to file a matching set of forms, i.e. his responding materials, so that the judge can have a comprehensive understanding of the familial situation when making a decision.
- Once the judge reviews all the material an order is made and same becomes enforceable in both jurisdictions.
Therefore, if Justin Bieber is residing in a reciprocating jurisdiction and the paternity tests result in a positive, then he may find himself supporting his "Baby" for quite some time.