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“It’s a huge case,” said Toronto attorney Surinder Multani. Cherani Goldhart of Multani and Goldhart and Associates is representing Lina Colucci after Multani brought the case with her from Windsor when she joined the firm.
“It’s about divorce law, so it’s federal law. Regardless of what tests the Supreme Court will run, it will affect the rest of the country in courts across Canada. “
Gordner is representing Felice Colucci, Lina’s ex-husband, who was ordered in 1996 to pay his ex-wife $ 115 a week per child to support their two daughters.
“By about 1999, his income had changed dramatically,” said Gordner. “He was fired from his job, so his income fell.”
Colucci says he asked his wife to cut those payments but she declined his request.
Gordner said Colucci never asked to change the support order. He left the country to live and work in the United States first and then to live with his mother in Italy, making only sporadic payments, according to court records.
“He ignored it and (the child benefit) kept building up … by the time it was over it was $ 170,000,” Gordner said.
Photo by Dan Janisse /.Windsor Star
In 2016, Colucci returned to Canada – his daughters were grown up by that point. He accepted a job as a general worker earning a minimum wage and requested that the benefit arrears be abolished and the amount redefined in accordance with the 1997 guidelines.
The 1997 guidelines were based on children’s income levels and generally reduced payments as tax deductions for child support were no longer allowed.