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Court finds father’s motion to reduce support deliberate attempt to avoid his obligations

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In the recent case of Myers v. Myers, 2014 ONSC 1804 (CANLII), the husband/father had brought a motion seeking to change the child and spousal support ordered against him and to have all arrears rescinded. In response to this, the wife/mother brought a motion to have his motion either struck or to require the father to post security for costs in the amount of $25,000.

After 16 years of marriage, the couple separated and commenced family court proceedings. The court hearing this application noted that since 2009, there were numerous court orders including orders for financial disclosure against the father, for equalization of property, for child support, for spousal support, and for costs.

The court noted that the father neglected to pay a cost order; that he hadn’t paid child support; that he hadn’t paid spousal support. The court also took note of a text that he had sent to the mother from which it inferred that the father “is thumbing his nose at the orders of the court and that he does not intend to follow these court orders and pay them during his lifetime.”

The court further noted that the father’s income had gone from over $136,000 in 2012 to less than half of that in 2014 yet he did not provide any supporting financial material to substantiate or explain the drop in his income.

After reviewing Rule 1(8) of the Family Law Rules regarding the failure to obey a court order, the court ruled that the father’s failure to obey numerous court orders was deliberate, willful and blatant. The court went on to find that the father’s motion was a “deliberate attempt” to “frustrate the payment of monies to the mother”.

The father’s motion to reduce his support obligations and eliminate the arrears was struck by the court and he was ordered to pay costs.

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