Court Cases & Orders Property Division, Sharing & The Matrimonial Home

The Down-Side of Trying to Snitch on Your Ex


The Down-Side of Trying to Snitch on Your Ex

In a recent case called Akwiwu v. Umeugo, the court began its judgment with the following:

This hearing is the latest in a long series of court hearings in this matter dating back to 2010. Better judges than I have already issued decisions they believed would put an end to this endless litigation. This decision is my attempt.

By prior order, the court had given the husband 90 days to come up with a $152,000 as an equalization payment; however the husband had been unable to come up with the money. Their former matrimonial home was currently up for sale, but the wife claimed that the husband had not acted in good faith: He had taken a long time to list it, and when he did he set it at a price was well above fair market value. She therefore asked for an order enforcing the equalization payment, or in the alternative, asked to have the matrimonial home (worth about $450,000) transferred to her name in satisfaction of her equalization entitlement.

On the flip-side, the husband acknowledged that his finances were in a precarious state, but pointed to the wife as shouldering some responsibility for it. Either in response to its questions or on her own initiative, she had told the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) that the husband’s WSIB claim was fraudulent. The husband’s benefits were suspended pending an investigation. Ultimately, the WSIB determined that the wife’s allegations were unreliable; nonetheless, at the time of the court hearing the husband’s benefits had not yet been reinstated. And given the husband’s lack of income, the bank had turned down the husband’s refinancing request, which would have allowed him to make the equalization payment ordered by the court.

In light of his precarious financial state, which had been caused in part by the wife’s own attempt to snitch on him or cause him to be investigated, the husband asked to have the equalization payment stayed (i.e. temporarily suspended).

The court granted the husband’s stay request, and gave him until a specified date to pay the $152,000, or else prove that he had sold the house and that the equalization payment was forthcoming out of the proceeds. As the court put it: “the slow pace of the delivery of the equalization payment is at least in part the fault of the [wife] herself”

For the full text of the decision, see:

Akwiwu v. Umeugo (2013), 2013 ONSC 7707

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.