Husband Ordered to Pay Wife $500 Per Day for His Continued Non-Disclosure
In the four years since the husband and wife embarked on their family litigation, the wife had obtained five separate orders to try to compel the husband to make full financial disclosure, as he was legally required to do. None of those netted the desire result in full; there were still many outstanding items, including the husband’s bank account statements, pension information, updated trading account statements, and credit card statements.
Forced to bring the matter before the court yet again, the wife requested another order compelling disclosure. This time, however, she asked for more severe sanctions: If he did not comply, the husband should either have his pleadings struck out entirely, or else he should face a daily $500 penalty for each day of non-compliance.
The morning of the hearing, the husband did come up with some of the missing materials. However, the court declared this a waste of its time, because the wife’s lawyer had to take time to review the documents. The husband had also provided 150 pages recently, but much of it turned out to be a duplication of material he had submitted earlier.
Nonetheless – and despite the husband’s history of non-cooperation – the court credited him for at least making some recent efforts. The court declared that it was “prepared to give the husband one last chance to provide the outstanding disclosure on strict terms.” It listed the specific items that he was being ordered to provide, and cautioned that they should be arranged in an “organized fashion”, without duplication, and that certain ones were to be given in “chronological order”.
As for the requested sanction, the court homed in on the wife’s suggestion that the husband be subjected to a daily monetary penalty if he did not comply. Admittedly, such a penalty was to be reserved for exceptional or egregious circumstances; however in this case the husband had been given numerous opportunities – over a span of years – to comply with his financial disclosure duty. The court said:
The wife states that another court order alone will not compel the husband to provide the documents. Five other orders have already been made, he has paid the associated costs and yet he has not complied with them. All of this shows that he believes he can disregard court orders.
The court added that the husband was savvy and has the financial wherewithal to litigate: His TD investment account had increased by almost $1,200,000 in the span of a year. The court surmised that a financial penalty was something that might have an impact on his willingness to cooperate, and that he would likely not do so unless such a monetary sanction was imposed. The court said:
This is the sixth court order requiring disclosure. Given the husband’s litigation history, I agree with the wife that the prospect of compliance with this order is very poor unless stiff consequences are imposed. These circumstances are exceptional and egregious.
The court set a deadline for the husband’s disclosure, and stipulated that if he failed to comply, he was ordered to pay a daily fine directly to the wife of $500 per day for each day of non-compliance.
For the full text of the decision, see:
At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com