SEPARATION AND DIVORCE - Practice and procedure - Evidence

Law360 Canada (August 17, 2022, 5:32 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the wife from a pre-trial order permitting refinancing of property and dealing with disclosure, the trial judgment and the desk divorce judgment. Cross-appeal by the husband from the child and spousal support award. The parties were married in 2003, had one child in 2004, and separated in 2016. The wife commenced the action in 2016. The trial commenced in 2020 in the wife’s absence. She experienced medical issues due to stress. The trial judge dismissed the wife’s application for an adjournment, finding that the stress inherent in trial proceedings would not diminish if the trial was adjourned for several months. The wife’s constant position throughout the pre-trial proceedings was that she had not received full disclosure. The divorce judgment was subsequently processed by the desk procedure. Both parties requested a divorce, and since the statutory requirements were met, a divorce was granted. The trial judge determined that child support was still payable so long as the child was a child of the marriage, even though the child had cut off all contact with her father. The parties agreed that the matrimonial property should be divided equally, subject to some exemptions. The wife never provided a Matrimonial Property Statement, and the only evidence at trial was that of the husband and his expert witness. The wife’s appeal disputed deficiencies in disclosure and proceeding with the trial in her absence. She did not challenge the substance of any of the rulings on support, matrimonial property division, or other issues. The husband disputed the findings at trial on child support and spousal support. He argued that the trial judge indicated at the commencement of the trial that these issues would not be dealt with at the trial in the absence of the appellant but would be the subject of later proceedings and that he was not given a full opportunity to address these issues....
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