Court Does Not Look Kindly Upon Husband Who Fails To Disclose Finances

Written on behalf of Arbesman Hamilton LLP

Court orders might not be fun, or even easy to comply with. However, it’s important to do so. This was perfectly illustrated in a recent decision from the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The courts can look very unfavorably towards those who disregard court orders, particularly when doing so causes issues to be drawn out.

A brief marriage

The husband and wife involved in the case were married very briefly. They were both born and raised in China, and met online when the wife was living in Los Angeles and the husband was living in British Columbia. They met in person in California in February 2010, got married in Las Vegas on June 20, 2010 and had a child seven months later, on January 29, 2011. They separated on November 1, 2012.

The court was tasked with dealing with a number of issues, including custody and parenting arrangements. However, it was the issue of the husband’s failure to make financial disclosure that stand out.

Disputed income

The wife stated that the father earned at least $90,000 from a number of rental properties he owned in British Columbia and China as well as from an online shopping website he owned. She claimed the money from these ventures went into a Chinese bank account, which the husband failed to disclose details of.

Meanwhile, the husband stated in a sworn financial statement that he his total income for child and spousal support purposes in 2012 was just over $13,000, while it was $21,000 the following year. He also claimed his parents gave him money to purchase four properties in British Columbia, but that he is only a beneficial owner, and he kept no money from the income they produced. He also claimed the Chinese online shopping business was owned by his parents and/or his niece, and that he only helped them with it.

Both parties accused each other of lying, leaving credibility to be a major issue.

The husband’s failure to cooperate

The husband was quite critical of the husband’s behaviour, writing he,

“has provided no mortgage application for any of the properties he owns in British Columbia. He claims that he came to Canada when banks lent money fairly freely and it was not necessary for him to complete a mortgage application form. He has produced “loan” documents from his father, mother, and sister, but gave no evidence relating to the loan documents, and I question the validity of the documents. He provided some documents relating to his immigration to Canada, but they do not appear to be his application form, and of the documents he did disclose, it is not possible to tell if there was a declaration of income, because (the husband) blacked out portions of the document.

“(The husband) has failed to disclose his President’s Choice Financial chequing account statements from December 2011 to April 2012. He has failed to disclose or produce any bank statements for his bank accounts in China. In particular, he has failed to disclose his Bank of China term deposit statements from April 2011 to April 2013; his Bank of China savings account statement from April 2011 to April 2013; and his China Merchant Bank statements. He makes the preposterous claim that the banks in China do not provide bank statements. He is not telling the truth because (the wife) provided her Bank of China bank statements, showing that banks in China are able to, and do provide bank statements.”

The court ultimately determined the husband’s income to be $90,000 per year, leaving his child support obligations at $836 per month. In addition, he was required to transfer title to one of the British Columbia properties to the wife, and to continue to pay the mortgage and tax on the property. On top of this, he was ordered to pay $1,500 per month in spousal support.

The experienced and professional lawyers at Arbesman Hamilton LLP have extensive knowledge of family law issues within Canada and Ontario. We pride ourselves on providing out clients with exceptional legal advice, offering practical recommendations on the issues they are dealing with, including separation, divorce, spousal support, and child support. We work to protect our clients’ rights in a way that is meant to avoid costly litigation, but we will fight tirelessly on their behalf when necessary. Please call us at 416-481-5604 or reach us online to see how we can assist you in your family law matter.