When a court issues an order related to any matter, it’s incredibly important to follow through on any obligations you may have stemming from such an order. As we see in a recent decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario, failing to do so might not only come with financial impacts, but it could also impact one’s ability to further pursue legal matters.
The wife left the matrimonial home in 2015 after being married to the father for 27 years. She had no income at the time she left and was dependent on assistance from family as well as social assistance and pension benefits. The court explained that the husband never willingly or voluntarily paid any spousal support and had ignored the trial judge’s order of $2,653 in monthly spousal support plus retroactive support. Instead, he continued to pay just $1,500 per month.
This behaviour led to the first compliance order related to the missed payments, at which time a judge wrote his breach was “flagrant” and directed him to comply with the support order. At that time, the judge wrote that support payments are not stayed pending appeal, and that the husband was required to keep making payments while the issue worked its way through the courts.
The court was critical of the husband’s willing breach of previous court orders. The court wrote he,
“has admittedly, unabashedly, and, in our view, unjustifiably, breached the trial judge’s and this court’s orders. He has always been represented by counsel. He has never expressed confusion about what the court orders mean or what is required of him. Other than very recently when faced with the present motion to quash his appeal, he has never attempted to stay the trial judgment. He has breached court orders with the certain knowledge that (the wife) is disabled, unable to work, and in dire financial straits that are exacerbated by these proceedings and his failure to comply with court orders.”
The court also described evidence that the father was employing deceptive tactics to reduce his income while maintaining his lifestyle, including income splitting with his new spouse. The court said, “He has doggedly and undeniably chosen to thumb his nose at court orders. We condemn his behaviour in the strongest terms.”
The court described this as a clear and exceptional case where the wife is entitled to her full indemnity costs on her motion to quash the appeal. The husband was ordered to pay her a total of $38,419.90 include of all disbarments and taxes. The court noted it has the discretion to refuse to entertain a further proceeding if the husband continued to ignore court orders.
Contact the experienced family law lawyer at NULaw as soon as possible if you are contemplating a separation, or have already begun the process. We are dedicated to pursuing your interests and getting exceptional results. Let us focus on your rights and negotiate the best possible outcome for you while you focus on rebuilding and moving on. Contact us online or at 416-481-5604 to book a consultation.