HOW DO YOU GET SUPPORT FROM SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN ANOTHER PROVINCE?
The case of Dale v. Lockley, 2014 ONSC 1402 illustrates the problems arising from the Interjurisidictional Support Orders Act. In this case, the Wife who moved to B.C. post-separation brought an Application for spousal support against the Husband who still resided in Ontario. Her written materials included her Application for support and her Financial Statement showing her current earnings.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Pazaratz, a judge for the Ontario Court of Justice, reviewed the materials. Although he had authority to make an order at that time he instead ordered the Wife to provide further information regarding her entitlement to spousal support. He also wanted the Husband to respond to this Application. He adjourned the matter for an oral hearing.
The Husband filed responding documents and personally attended the hearing. The Wife did not file responding materials and did not attend the hearing. Justice Pazaratz did not order spousal support at this time. His concerns were as follows:
The Wife did not have an opportunity to hear the Husband’s oral submissions or cross-examine the Husband. This was important because they had different submissions regarding the length of the relationship;
By the time there was the oral hearing, the Wife’s materials were over 18 months old;
The Wife claimed that she could not work. She filed Doctor’s notes saying as much but she needed to follow the guidelines for filing an expert report;
“the Applicant [wife] provided little or no evidence in relation to the characterization (or basis) of the support claim; compensatory considerations; contractual considerations; roles or functions adopted during the relationship; economic advantage, disadvantage or consequences flowing from the relationship; apportionment of financial consequences including debt; efforts toward self-sufficiency or reduction of need; lifestyles; agreements.”
The Wife is entitled to file another claim for spousal support, however.
I believe that the legislature drafted a procedure quick and easy procedure for people seeking support from people in other provinces. They did this because dealing with other provinces can be expensive and confusing just in of itself. This relaxed procedure, however, should only be applied when it is unlikely that the support payor will respond to the Applicant’s materials. The relaxed procedure should not be used as a substitute for a trail if a trial is needed. The Wife could have brought a regular Application for support in either British Columbia or Ontario.