Toronto Sun

Thursday, March 23, 2000

Support payment suicide

Man told to pay twice what he made


PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. --  About 25 people rallied yesterday outside the Prince George courthouse to remember a man who killed himself a month after a judge ordered him to make spousal and child support payments more than double his income.

The members of the Parent Child Advocacy Coalition carried signs saying Darrin White and others have been treated badly by what they called the family-law industry.

"We want to recognize Darrin White and every other parent who's been unjustly treated," said coalition spokesman Randy Turgeon.

The coalition believes the court order caused White, 34, to kill himself last week and has asked for a public inquiry into his death.

In B.C. Supreme Court last month, White was ordered to pay $2,071 a month to support his ex-wife and three children. He was already paying $439 a month to support an older child from a previous marriage, bringing his total monthly obligations to $2,510.

But White's after-tax monthly income was only $950 in disability stress pay.

The White family won the right yesterday to take his body back to Brandon, Man., for burial. White's father, Les, and brother-in law, Murray Empey, were set to go to court in Prince George yesterday when White's former wife agreed to release the body to the family.

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