MARITAL OR FAMILY PROPERTY - Equalization or division - Family property, what constitutes - Considerations for unequal division

Law360 Canada (September 26, 2022, 9:42 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Ullah from the order following trial of a family law claim on grounds that the judge made incorrect findings of fact, failed to address the division of property in Pakistan, and erred in not equally dividing property in British Columbia. The appellant applied to adduce fresh evidence. The parties were married in Pakistan. They had four children. Rana purchased a home for the family in Nanaimo. Ullah refused to assist with the purchase. Ullah remained in Alberta until he accepted a position in Egypt. He contributed some of his income to family expenses. Upon his return, Ullah lived at the Nanaimo home. Ullah did nothing to obtain further employment or gain accreditation as an engineer. Rana purchased a second home in Duncan, providing the down payment and qualifying alone for the mortgage. Rana and three of the children moved into the Duncan home. Rana paid the expenses of both houses. Ullah was unemployed. Ullah began work as a taxi driver. He did not pay child support until ordered to do so. He did not contribute to the children’s tuition. Rana filed for divorce. When Ullah did not quit any interest in the properties, Rana amended her pleadings to request additional orders: retroactive and prospective child support, including tuition expenses; spousal support; and, exclusion or unequal division of the Nanaimo and Duncan houses. Ullah counterclaimed, seeking unequal division of family property, including the Nanaimo and Duncan properties and alleged Pakistan property and the return or division of personal property. Having accepted that Ullah began working as a taxi driver in January 2018, the judge calculated retroactive support for the four children beginning then. Given Rana’s higher income, Rana’s claim for spousal support was dismissed. The judge did not include the Duncan house in the division of property. The judge found the Nanaimo property was a family asset. The judge concluded a 75/25 distribution in favour of Rana would mitigate the significant unfairness....
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