Conflicting Decisions Regarding Costs

This recent decision from the Superior Court of Justice clarifies the confusion for family law counsel in Ontario following the release of the conflicting decisions of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Berta v. Berta 2015 ONCA 918, and Forrester v. Dennis 2016 ONCA 214 regarding costs, and confirms the decision of Jackson v. Mayerle 2016 ONSC 1556 as the go to case for analysis of Rule 24 of the Family Law Rules.
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Quantum of Spousal Support & Equalization Payment Appeal: Berta v Berta

The Appellant wife and Respondent husband married in December 1982. They separated after 27 years of marriage in March 2010. Following the wife’s retirement during the marriage, the husband started his own business in 1986, ACCE Inc., of which the parties were equal shareholders and served as the company’s directors.
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Security for Costs in Custody and Access Disputes

The unmarried parties separated in 2009 after residing together for two years. They have a son together of whom the mother originally had temporary custody, and the father had extremely restricted access due to serious allegations the mother made against him. In 2012, the father was awarded custody and $11,500 in costs after the mother’s consistent dishonesty came to light during the custody proceedings. She was given generous access despite her deliberate attempts to alienate the child from his father. A further $20,000 in costs was awarded against the mother in 2014 following a contempt order and a suspected attempt to abduct the child from Canada.
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Cost Consequences in Ontario Family Law

Pursuant to a court order made June 26, 2015, the child was to remain in the mother’s primary care and the father was granted daytime access supervised by the mother three days per week in the matrimonial home. Due to conflict between the parties, they later agreed that the father’s access would take place at the mother’s sister’s home under her supervision.
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