Single Brampton mom, trying to change the status quo

Robyn Coates and family

A single mom in Brampton is taking on the province, and all indications are, that she will win.

Robyn Coates contacted NEWSTALK1010 to tell us about the constitutional challenge she's launched that will change the way children with disabilities are treated in Ontario.

Her beef surrounds the way disabled children of unwed parents can be treated.

You may be surprised to know that, under provincial law, support from the father can legally stop paying for child support when the child turns 18, or is no longer enrolled in full-time schooling.

Coates is the single mother of a 22-year-old son, who is developmentally disabled.

Since she and the father of her child were never married, the rules governing child support rest with the province. Had they been married and divorced, their suituation would be covered under the federal divorce act. That would mean her disabled child would be eligible for support from his father, essentially, indefinitely.

Currently, Coates receives $800 a month from her sons father. She estimates the monthly costs to be more than $1400 for one program alone.

"At the end of the day, it shouldn't matter if Joshua's parents were married or not. The rules should be the same for all parents" Coates tells NEWSTALK1010

And family Lawyer Andrew Feldstein tends to agree.

"Why is it that a child who is born of parents who never got married wouldn't get the support, but a child who was born to someone who was married, get the support?"

He says the Ontario Government should have taken action on this years ago and mirrored the federal divorce act, rather than letting it get this far.

But does Coates have a legal leg to stand on? Feldstein says yes, she does.

"What it will do, is treat all the children the same, and that's why I think it should go through."