MARITAL OR FAMILY PROPERTY - Equalization or division - Considerations for unequal division - Conduct of parties

Law360 Canada (May 2, 2023, 6:15 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the wife from the decision of the trial judge ordering her to pay her husband lump sum costs of $55,000, unequal division of matrimonial assets in favour of husband and dismissing the wife’s spousal support and unjust enrichment claims. When they came into the relationship, the parties were both professionals and each owned real property, pensions and bank and investment accounts. They eventually married but had no children. They were divorced by way of Corollary Relief Order. The wife asserted she was economically disadvantaged by the marriage. She argued for non-compensatory support based on what she claimed were interdependencies in the relationship, her relocating to be with her husband and her health issues. On appeal, she argued the trial judge should have ordered compensation for the period the parties cohabited and recognized the disadvantage she experienced because of the marriage. Further, the wife sought an equal division of assets pursuant to s. 12 of the Matrimonial Property Act. The judge’s adverse findings against the wife led to an unequal division of what the judge found to be matrimonial assets. She appealed the trial judge’s findings in relation to her acquisition of a property at Spinnaker Drive in Halifax, using funds she had withdrawn from the husband’s Scotiabank account for the purchase. She attacked the trial judge’s conclusion she surreptitiously withdrew a total of $200,000 from the Scotiabank account....
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