Family Law

Support for Aging Parents

Here is another scenario to think about.

Marlene is 40 years old and a single mother of two teenagers. She works hard to support her family, make the rent payments, and pay her taxes. Her widowed mother, meanwhile, is becoming elderly and is living in poverty. Marlene feels she is doing all she can to support her own family, so she does not offer her mother any financial help. Should there be a law requiring Marlene to help support her mother?

Most people would probably feel that Marlene has a moral obligation to help her mother out if she possibly can. After all, while raising Marlene, her mother probably made the sacrifices most parents make. But should the law force Marlene to make payments against her will? And what if she and her mother did not get along? What if her mother had been cruel to her? What if she had kicked Marlene out of the family home permanently while she was a teenager?

According to Alberta's own Family Law Act , spouses and adult interdependent partners are required to support each other and parents are required to support young children but there is no requirement for adult children to support their parents. However, as the percentage of elderly people in Alberta's population increases, there is a chance that this situation may change.