$150,000 Per Month Paternity Suit

Father in a suit with green tie holding his baby son

Can you imagine receiving $150,000 per month, tax-free? Karen Sala certainly could and sued Keanu Reeves hoping he would be ordered to pay that tidy sum to her. She was not successful.

A recent article in The Star declares that the paternity case against Keanu Reeves by Sala was dismissed by the Ontario Courts. According to The Star, Justice Graham declared that the allegations against Reeves were “so incredible” that no reasonable judge would accept them.  The judge said having a trial would be a waste of limited judicial time.

Karen Sala was seeking $3 million a month in spousal support and $150,000 a month in retroactive child support. She alleged that Reeves was the father of her four adult children.

It is remarkable that she pushed the case this far. DNA tests had been done which indicated that Reeves was not likely the father of the children. DNA tests cannot say with full certainty if someone is the father but they are accurate 99.9999% of the time. Usually, that’s good enough for the judges to dismiss the case as happened in this case.

As Ms. A.J. Jakubowska notes in her blog, child support payments in Ontario are not tax-deductible for the payor and the recipient does not have to claim them as income. Sala would have been able to pocket $1.8 million dollars per year, tax-free, had she won her case.

How is the amount of child support determined? 

Child support payments are set in accord with the Federal Child Support Guidelines. For Ms. Sala to have received $150,000 per month, she would have had to prove that Reeves’ income was about $8.5 million annually. I guess that’s possible…

As Ms. Jakubowska, a Newmarket family lawyer, notes in her blog, spousal support is tax-deductible to the payor and must be claimed as income to the recipient. So, if Sala had been successful, Reeves would have been able to deduct the spousal support from his income but not the child support.

Certainly, there is an incentive to sue for child support when the stakes can be this high but DNA tests constitute a mountain too high to overcome. You can’t just allege someone is the father of your children these days expect to get away with it. If you are lying, science will prove you wrong. How DNA tests work is a sample of hair from the father, mother and child are analyzed in a lab. The DNA of the child is compared to the DNA of the “alleged” parents to determine if paternity is possible. Courts like the certainty of DNA tests.  They normally end the case one way or another.

Ms. Sala was tenacious. She persisted in court. She lost. Case closed. Next?

Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.

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