There was a discrepancy around what Mr. B’s income should be for the purposes of determining support, as Mr. B wanted to decrease his income by 30%, saying that it was necessary for “business stability” purposes. In the end, it was determined that his income for support purposes was $228,800. The Court further ordered that he pay Ms. B spousal support at the high end of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines range at $5,064 per month, and child support in the amount of $2,706 per month. Mr. Justice Greyell commented that, while Mr. B did not have arrears owing with respect to his support obligations, the “issue in my view is not particularly the amount the respondent has paid but rather the manner in which it has been paid. Under the arrangement the parties currently have in place, Ms. B is required to produce receipts for all expenditures. Consistent with the principles upon which spousal support is based, Ms. B is entitled to support free from having to account to Mr. B for what she spends.”
Lastly, the Court ordered that the Claimant have exclusive occupation of the family home on a time limited basis. While in some traditional families, it may be expected that the husband takes care of the finances, that is not something that should be carried over into a separation. Under the Family Law Act, the definition of family violence includes unreasonable restrictions on a family member’s financial autonomy. Requiring receipts before reimbursing expenses is a subtle form of financial abuse, but it meant that everything Ms. B purchased had to be “approved” by Mr. B, or it may not have been reimbursed. Financial abuse occurs when a partner, or ex-partner, tries to use money to control you, and includes behaviour such as rigidly controlling finances, withholding money or credit cards, making you account for all the money you spend, preventing you from working, and stealing from you or taking your money.
If you are going through a separation or divorce and think you may be suffering from financial abuse, contact a competent family law lawyer in your area to find out what your rights are.