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Posts from the ‘Ontario Divorce Help’ Category

Cheating Wife Busted When Husband Spots Her on Google Maps

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Cheating Wife Busted When Husband Spots Her on Google Maps

Many of my past Blogs have chronicled the use – or attempted use – of Facebook evidence in Canadian family law proceedings.  But here’s a little twist:  In a news item from Peru, a husband learned of his wife’s extramarital affair through an image he found on Google Maps, through the “Street View” feature.

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The photos shows his wife, sitting on an outdoor bench with a man reclined and leaning his head on her lap.  She is stroking his hair in what suggests there is an intimate connection between them.  Perhaps ironically, the image was taken near the Puente de los Suspiros (or “Bridge of Sighs”), which is a tourist attraction in Lima, Peru.

The husband uncovered the photos, which were taken by Google in 2013, while planning a trip to that area.  He was using Google Maps to look for directions.   After finding the image, he confronted his wife about the affair, which she admitted to.  They have since divorced.

Latin American news site La Cronica reported that the man posted about the incident on Facebook.

For further reports on this item, see:

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/10/divorce-after-cheating-wife-snapped-on-google-maps.html

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/mobile-apps/man-discovers-affair-google-maps-divorce

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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

$25 Online “Therapy Dog” Certificate Did Not Solve Former Couple’s Dog Ownership Dispute

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$25 Online “Therapy Dog” Certificate Did Not Solve Former Couple’s Dog Ownership Dispute

The recent decision in Murray v. Choudhary features an interesting twist on the usual dog-ownership dispute between formerly married couples.

The spouses had been married 10 years when they separated, and had numerous issues that they needed the court to resolve between them.  These included spousal support, a declaration in connection with the matrimonial home, listing the home for sale, and the return of the wife’s engagement and wedding rings, worth over $19,000.  Also it was alleged that the husband had moved to Germany under the pretext of doing is MBA abroad and setting up a business, when it seems he was really there to take up with another woman.  This sparked various issues around separation date and related matters.

Now that the couple sorting out their financial and other issues before the court, one of the points of contention was over their dog, named Bianca.

The wife claimed that the dog belonged to her, and the court tallied up the evidence in favour of that conclusion:

The [wife] provided evidence to the court that she paid $700 for Bianca in July of 2012, she reported her purchase to her family by email and photograph on July 19, 2012, she completed training with Bianca at “Dog Dayz” in February of 2014, she attended to all of Bianca’s veterinary appointments, she registered Bianca with the City of Ottawa as her dog, she cared for Bianca (but for one feeding in the evening and some walks), and she reported Bianca as having been stolen to German authorities when she feared Bianca would not be returned to her.

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The husband claimed otherwise;  he insisted that Bianca was a “form of therapy dog” that soothed and comforted him, and that he had insisted on taking the dog with him to Germany because she would “help him succeed in his studies.”

However, the wife gave evidence to easily explain away that contention:  She said they had simply purchased a $25 certificate over the internet to give the dog “therapy dog” status, with no verification whatsoever that the husband needed or would benefit from it.   This sham certificate paved the way for the husband to travel with the dog unfettered.   As the court explained:

The [wife] however, provided an explanation that she and the [husband] obtained a Certificate that Bianca was a “Therapy/Companion Dog” on the internet for $25 in 2015 to permit them to travel to the US to visit the [husband’s] family and to stay in hotels with Bianca. They later obtained a letter from a psychologist on-line, who had never seen the [husband], for $200 which permitted them to travel with Bianca to Europe in the spring of 2017. To demonstrate how easy it is to get a service dog certificate on-line, the [wife] again did so on February 22, 2018 for $200.

Still, the court pointed out no matter how easy it had been to buy a “therapy dog” certificate online, it did not help the court in determining who actually owned Bianca.  The court said:

All of which is to say, that any of the certifications provided by the [husband] or the [wife] either that Bianca is a “service” or “support” dog, or that she is permitted to travel with one or the other, do not assist the court in making the determination of who owns her. Most significantly, the [husband] has provided no evidence from any treating physician that he currently has that he requires a support or service animal. Based, therefore, on all of the evidence referred to above, I find that the [wife} is the rightful owner of Bianca.

Although the court had many other complex issues to contend with in the larger context of the parties’ litigation, it said that the issue of who owned Bianca in this scenario was straightforward:  It was the wife.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Murray v. Choudhary

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

Was Jailed Dad “Intentionally Unemployed” For Child Support Purposes?

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Was Jailed Dad “Intentionally Unemployed” For Child Support Purposes?

In a recent Ontario child support case, the court grappled with a narrow question: Should it ignore the fact that the support-paying husband landed himself in jail, and simply assume he was still earning the same income as before?  Was his incarceration tantamount to being “intentionally unemployed”?

In Sheridan v. Cupido the former couple had starting dating in 2013, but split four years later.  They never married.  They had two young children together, who currently lived with the mother.

After separation the father, apparently struggling to accept the end of the relationship, snuck into the bedroom of the mother’s home one night and assaulted her new romantic partner with a baseball bat.  He also threw both of them down the stairs. He was arrested and charged with numerous offences, but was denied bail.  He was currently awaiting the upcoming criminal hearing where it was expected that he would be convicted and sentenced to spend at least two years in jail.

In light of this development, the mother asked the court for an interim order confirming that the father owed child support, and that the amount was to be based on his pre-jail income levels.  She wanted the arrears to accumulate while he served time, so that at the upcoming trial she could get a final order confirming his obligation to pay the full amount.

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The father resisted.  While freely acknowledging his support obligations to his children, he pointed out that he had no income while in jail, and had no assets to draw from.

In deciding whether to make an interim order nonetheless, the court noted that the father’s child support obligations are governed by provisions in the Family Law Act and the Child Support Guidelines requiring it to consider “the most current information” – which in this case was that the father had no income.

However, the court had the power to impute income to the father, at whatever level it considered appropriate, if it found he was “intentionally unemployed.”  The principle is that the father could not avoid his child support obligations through a self-imposed reduction of income.

The question was whether to impute income in this case.  The court reflected on two previous court rulings where support-paying parents were found intentionally unemployed while being incarcerated, prompting the court to treat them as if they were still earning. It noted:

The rationale [in those cases]… was that intentional criminal actions led to the incarceration and resulting unemployment.  Incarceration was not considered to be a sufficient reason for the parent being unable to work. 

The court distinguished these prior decisions by noting that those other parents had been convicted of their crimes;  in this case the father was still awaiting his criminal trial.

The court’s discretion in these kinds of cases was always governed by notions of reasonableness.  A parent who was actually in jail might be viewed differently than one who was not behind bars, but whose criminal actions or drug use still diminished his or her earning capacity.   The jailed parent would have no current capacity to improve his or her earning potential and address related issues; the one who was not in jail could still do something to correct the failure to satisfy his or her support obligation.   As the court put it:

… [A]n incarcerated parent cannot modify his or her behaviour by finding suitable employment in response to an imputation order.  The order proposed by the [mother] here would simply create debt.  As argued, there is also an underlying element of punishment or penalty for the alleged criminal behaviour.

I am not convinced that there is an absolute rule that the court must always impute income where the payor was working prior to incarceration. …

Most importantly, the mother was asking for an interim support order here, in advance of a fuller Family Law trial to be held later.  Rather than guess at the duration of jail time the father might receive if convicted, and rather than burden him with a potentially large debt upon his release, it was more prudent to wait for trial, where the judge would have better evidence and more up-to-date information on what is reasonable after-the-fact.

In dismissing the mother’s request the court made a final, practical observation:

No order that I make will assist to get regular support flowing now. 

For the full text of the decision:

Sheridan v. Cupido

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

 

“Determining Value is Not a Dartboard” – Neither Spouse is Credible, Court Finds

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“Determining Value is Not a Dartboard” – Neither Spouse is Credible, Court Finds

In a recent case called Knight v. Knight, the court went back to first principles to conclude that neither spouse had given credible evidence in their matrimonial proceeding, and that the court had to draw its own conclusions as to their collective and individual assets, property holdings, incomes, contributions, and liabilities both during the marriage and after.  In short:  neither of them were to be believed.

The underlying matter related to the husband’s claim against the wife that he had a beneficial interest in the matrimonial home that was in her name alone, and that she owed him an equalization payment.  The wife denied that she owed the husband anything, and asked the court for an unequal division.

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The couple, who had both been married before, wed in 1989.  They separated a dozen years later. The wife owned and operated a hair salon; the husband owned a cleaning services business and also worked for a laminating company.  Evidently, the marriage did not get off to a good start:  The wife was cautious about remarrying, and since the pastor at her local church did not approve of her remarriage, they had to have the ceremony at a different place of worship. The wife paid for her own wedding ring.

The marriage itself did not flourish, either.  Before the court, the couple was particularly at odds about the level of contribution by the husband.  The court described the wife’s position this way:

The wife said that the husband had no savings when the [matrimonial home] was purchased.  She would buy cleaning supplies for his business.  He never earned enough to materially contribute to the household expenses.  He had no money.  The wife was embarrassed that the husband was not able to read properly and so she enrolled him in a school and sometimes attended with, and helped, him at the school.  She often helped him too with his cleaning business.

She also said that the husband spent extravagantly, and gambled.  Towards the end of the marriage, he began to spend greater periods of time in his native Jamaica, she said, and flew there only two days after suddenly announcing that he wanted a separation.

One of the key issues of concern to the court related to the parties’ overall credibility.   In examining the couple’s respective sources of income, employment history, business ventures, and various Jamaican investment properties, the court noted that it had made several prior orders directing each of them to exchange their financial information, but these were never fully complied with.  Neither of them had provided evidence to fully explain some of the inconsistencies in the materials that they did bother to produce. The court said:

Disclosure and Credibility

Each party complained that the other did not comply with their disclosure obligations whether as required by court Order or pursuant to the Family Law Rules and that, as a consequence, the other’s evidence should be discounted or disregarded entirely on financial issues.  Each party invited the court to draw adverse inferences about the other party’s credibility and to prefer their evidence instead.  Seemingly lost on the parties was the concept that a party cannot ask the court to make property and income findings favourable to them and contrary to the other party’s interests while at the same time not providing information relevant to the determination of those issues within their possession or ability to obtain.

The court added that various legal tests exist to guide the court in assessing a witness’ credibility.  The considerations are as follow:

  • Assessing credibility is a “holistic undertaking” incapable of precise formulation;
  • The trial judge need not believe or disbelieve a witness’s testimony in its entirety;
  • The trial judge may believe none, part or all of a witness’s evidence, and may attach different weight to different parts of a witness’s evidence; and
  • The trial judge can assess credibility by considering different factors, including internal and external consistency of witness testimony with: 1) that of other witnesses; 2) documentary evidence; 3) motive; 4) self-interest, 5) clarity and logic of narrative; 6) witness presentation (distinguishing candour from evasive or strategic testimony) and 7) to a lesser degree, witness demeanour. (This is a partial list only).

Applying these tests, the court concluded that in this case “neither party was a credible witness about their financial worth, earning ability or income.”  The court did accept the wife’s narrative about important events dealing with their investment properties and how they covered their living expenses, but in the end, on the issue of overall credibility the court had little positive to say for either of them.  It concluded as follows:

Both parties tailored their evidence about their property and income to suit their claims in these proceedings.  Except for those assets and debts whose value can be documented or inferentially corroborated by third party sources, little weight will be given to either party’s estimates about value.  Determining value is not a dartboard.  The same observation applies to each party’s evidence about their income and, particularly in the husband’s case, their ability to support themselves.

Later in the judgment, the court added similar sentiments:

It is clear that when valuing their business interests, both parties failed to present a credible value either for the valuation date or, in the case of the wife, for the marriage date.  Each tailored their evidence to suit their financial interests.  In the absence of credible evidence, no marriage or valuation date values to each party’s business interests will be attributed to either party.

In the end, the court did grant the couple a divorce, but had to make its own assessments of all other aspects of the case, since their evidence was simply unworthy of the court’s belief.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Knight v. Knight

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

Spurned Husband Gets $8.8 million Damages Award Against Wife’s Affair Partner

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Spurned Husband Gets $8.8 million Damages Award Against Wife’s Affair Partner

In Canada, the fact that one spouse may have committed adultery, in breach of his or her marriage vows, provides the grounds on which a divorce can be obtained, under the federal Divorce Act.  But after that, infidelity does not really factor into other divorce-related issues like property division or support.  In other words, child custody, child support spousal support and property division are not impacted by a spouse’s cheating, and the betrayed spouse does not get an advantage because his or her spouse was unfaithful.

An interesting ruling from a North Carolina courtroom highlights the different approach taken in some U.S. states.  Under the law in that jurisdiction, the judge saw fit to impose a hefty civil sanction against Francisco Huizar III, in favour of Keith King, with whose wife Francisco had been having a 16-month extramarital affair.

The court ordered Francisco to pay $8.8 million to King, consisting mainly of punitive damages.  About $2.2 million of that amount was designed to compensate Keith for some of the various types of damages that King had claimed against him, including criminal conversation, alienation of affection, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.

It turns out Keith’s wife, Danielle had met Francisco met at a bike show in New York put on by King BMX Stunt Shows, which was her husband’s company.   Francisco pursued Danielle at the show, and made various plays for her in the subsequent months which involved booking hotel rooms on various occasions near where he knew she was staying, renting an apartment near the family’s home, and intruding on a spa weekend and on a family vacation.  Keith noticed an inappropriate text between his wife Danielle and Francisco, and the affair came to light.   In court, he provided call logs, social media posts, and hotel receipts as proof of the infidelity.

Keith said that because of adultery, his company suffered damages, including lost corporate revenue, and the loss of a key employee – i.e. Danielle herself, since she had to leave her job once the affair was uncovered.

Unlike the law in the Canada, North Carolina law allows a person to bring a civil suit against an individual that his or her spouse has had an affair with, for what is known as “alienation of affection.”  Although it is arguably an old-fashioned law, it still exists in five other U.S. states, namely Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah.

Should Canada have similar laws that impose liability on affair partners?  What are your thoughts?

For related articles, see:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/31/us/north-carolina-adultery-law-trnd/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/31/8-8-million-alienation-of-affection-award-another-reason-not-to-have-an-affair-in-north-carolina/?utm_term=.fedee41a7dc9

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

Did Testator’s Chronic Alcoholism Affect His Ability to Make a Valid Will?

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Did Testator’s Chronic Alcoholism Affect His Ability to Make a Valid Will?

In a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision involving a Wills and Estates matter, one of the main questions was whether the testator – a man named Jack – was so impacted by his chronic alcoholism and the after-effects of a heart attack that he did not have the legal capacity to validly make the Will that entirely excluded his wife Loretta.

In Dujardin v. Dujardin,  Jack and his brother Noel jointly owned and operated farm property that had been in their family since 1958.  They both executed mirror Wills stating that upon their death, they would leave their equal interests in the farm to each other.  Jack’s first Will of this nature, which he executed prior to his marriage to Loretta in 2000, excluded her from the Will completely. A second Will, which he made in 2009 after having a heart attack two years earlier, likewise excluded her in favour of his brother Noel.  (However, he did designate her as the sole beneficiary of a RRIF valued at $123,000 at the time of his death).

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Loretta challenged the validity of Jack’s Will, but her claims were dismissed at trial.   On appeal, she argued that the trial judge had been wrong to rule inadmissible the evidence of a doctor who had  concluded Jack lacked the capacity to make the will, due to his chronic alcoholism and heart attack-related cognitive impairment.

The Appeal Court was left to evaluate the premise for the doctor’s conclusions, as against the other established facts.  As the Court put it:

Jack had a difficult relationship with alcohol.  The evidence established that, during the day, he was a productive worker. However, when he finished his work in the late afternoon, Jack would go into the Town of Aylmer to have a couple drinks. When he returned home, he drank into the night, until he fell asleep. Noel testified that Jack purchased 40 ounces of liquor each day.

That said, the Court also noted evidence showing that Jack could function well enough notwithstanding his excessive drinking:

Despite his alcohol use, the evidence established that, around the time he executed his 2009 wills, Jack was able to function properly at work and in his business dealings. A parade of witnesses from the local farming community testified that, while they knew that Jack liked to drink, they noticed nothing wrong with his cognitive functioning.

Against this background, the Court addressed Loretta’s objections that the trial judge had erred in ruling the doctor’s evidence as to Jack’s testamentary capacity inadmissible.

On this point the Court noted doctor had never met Jack, but rather was relying only on his medical history and hospital records to conclude that he suffered from “Organic Brain Syndrome.”  This, the doctor concluded, had impaired Jack’s cognitive ability to comprehend and understand the contents of any legal document that he signed in 2009.  Also, based on Jack’s pattern of drinking, the doctor had surmised that he was either drinking or experiencing withdrawal when he attended his lawyer’s office to sign the Will.

Unfortunately for Loretta, the Court of Appeal found that these conclusions by the doctor were – at best – speculative.  For example, Jack’s heart attack had occurred almost two years before he signed the Will, and there was no convincing evidence that this event affected his cognitive ability.   Nor was there compelling proof that Jack suffered from “Organic Brain Syndrome” as speculated.   Overall, the trial judge had not been wrong to exclude the doctor’s evidence was inadmissible.

The Court also took a broader look at the Will’s legal validity under the law.   Once a Will is proven as having been “duly executed with the requisite formalities, and having been read over to or by a testator who appeared to understand it”, it will be generally presumed that the testator knew and approved of the contents, and that he had the necessary testamentary capacity.  The onus to prove these elements falls to the proponent of it – in this case, Jack’s brother Noel.

Although were some suspicious circumstances relating to Jack’s mental capacity at the time he signed his Will, Noel had addressed them to the court’s satisfaction by the evidence of the other witnesses who were present.

The Court dismissed Loretta’s appeal, but pointed out that she may be able to make a claim under Family Law legislation.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Dujardin v. Dujardin

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

Aunt and Nephew Settle on How to Split Disputed $1.2 Lottery Win

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Aunt and Nephew Settle on How to Split Disputed $1.2 Lottery Win

In a decision in an unusual recent Nova Scotia case, the court introduced the factual narrative this way:

In July 2018, a winning ticket bearing the names of Barbara Ann Reddick, and her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis, was drawn at the popular Chase the Ace lottery in Margaree.  The lottery organizers then flipped over the ace of spades, earning the individuals named on the ticket a total prize of $1.2 million.  The organizers issued the proceeds in two separate cheques, dividing the total prize equally between Ms. Reddick and Mr. MacInnis.

Unfortunately, what should have been a joyous event in their lives has led them to this courtroom.  A dispute has arisen, with Ms. Reddick claiming the ticket belonged to her alone, and that she is entitled to the entirety of the prize money.  She has filed legal action to recover the one-half share of the lottery winnings awarded to Mr. MacInnis.

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Needless to say, the dispute has spun into a “he said/she said” account of whether the winning ticket – which bore both of their names – was intended to be a jointly-held.   The 19-year-old nephew said that he and his aunt agreed to split the winnings if the ticket won; the aunt disagreed, stating that she had never offered to split the $1.2 million grand prize, only the smaller cash prize on an intermediate draw.  And while she conceded that she had added his name to the face of the ticket, she said she had done so only “for luck”.

Since the nephew had been awarded half the prize by the lottery organizers, the aunt obtained a Preservation Order over those funds pending the outcome of the litigation.  Hastening to add that it was not a comment on the nephew’s “good faith, or on his ability to manage his finances in a responsible manner”, the court granted the Order because it was unlikely that the nephew would be able to repay over $600,000 if he spent the money but ended up losing at trial.  He was currently living at home, and working at Tim Horton’s part-time during the school year and in the summers.

Fortunately, that Preservation Order was as far as the litigation had to go in this matter:  As reported recently these two feuding family members have recently come to a settlement, by agreeing to split the winnings in unequal shares:  The aunt, who had bought the original ticket, would take $872,639.  The nephew would take $350,000.   As the article reports, both were satisfied with the outcome of the settlement.

For the full text of the decision on the Preservation Order, see:

Reddick v MacInnis

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

Family Law Costs:  “Divided” Success is not “Equal” Success

Family Law Costs:  “Divided” Success is not “Equal” Success

Readers may know that one element of the courts’ role is to allocate how the costs incurred in Family Law proceedings are to be divided up between the litigants.   The presumptive rule, traditionally stated, is that “the costs should follow the event”, which simply means that a litigant who is wholly successful in the proceedings is entitled to have his or her costs paid by the other, unsuccessful litigant.

That’s the most straightforward scenario.  But it gets more complicated when the parties have “divided success” – meaning there were numerous legal issues raised, and the ultimate court order reflected partial success for each of them. In other words, each party was victorious on some of the issues, but not on others.

The true meaning of “divided success” was the focal point of the recent decision in Lazare v. Heitner.  The former couple had asked the court to review a prior spousal support order in the wife’s favour, which necessitated considering several issues including:  1) whether her support should continue at all; 2) how long it should last; 3) at what dollar amount should the support be set; and 4) what income-level be attributed to the wife.

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The court outlined the guiding costs rules for “divided success” cases, as follows:

If success in a step in a case is divided, the court may apportion costs as appropriate. Divided success is not equal success.  It requires a comparative analysis.  Most family cases have multiple issues and not all are equally as important, time-consuming or expensive to determine. When there are a number of issues before the court, only the dominant issue may be the one that attracts an award of costs.  When deciding what that issue was, the court must also consider the parties’ respective Offers to Settle.

The problem was that by the time the matter got to trial, the dominant issue had changed from the one that had been the focal-point during negotiations and the exchange of settlement offers.  During settlement, it was whether the wife’s spousal support should be terminated; at trial, the other issues took center-stage.  This differential focus over time managed to complicate the costs-allocation exercise.  As the court put it:

Therein lies the dilemma of litigating off a different menu than one negotiates.

To facilitate the analysis, both spouses had prepared charts; some compared the results at trial to their respective positions beforehand; while others compared trial results to their settlement offers.   But the court observed that the key purpose of costs awards was to: 1) partly indemnify successful litigants on the costs of litigation; 2) encourage settlement; and 3) discourage inappropriate behavior.  That being the case, the comparison had to be between what each party sought to gain by litigating, versus what they actually achieved at trial.  As the court put it:

To do otherwise is to encourage all in, or all out litigation; or in other words, the all too familiar “accept my terms or I’ll fight you on everything.”  

In the end, the court dissected the various pre-hearing positions of each party, assessed whether these were reasonable in all the circumstances, and awarded the husband most – but not all – of the costs he asked for, in light of the particular circumstances.

Noting that “divided success is largely a discretionary exercise,” the court added:

Assessing costs is “not simply a mechanical exercise,” and it is well understood that courts do not necessarily reimburse a litigant for every dollar spent on legal fees.  Ultimately, the court’s responsibility is to make a costs award which is proportional, fair and reasonable in all the circumstances. 

For the full text of the decision, see:

Lazare v. Heitner

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