This decision of Justice Shaw from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stands for the proposition that if payor spouse does not seek an immediate reduction in his or her child support obligations when his or her financial circumstances first…
In this case, the husband sought (i) a reduction in child support because his income decreased by $20,000.00, (ii) better disclosure from the wife regarding her current income and her plans to find employment, and (iii) the return of his belongings.
The husband’s child support payments were reduced and Justice Flynn left it to the trial judge to determine the return of the husband’s belongings. The main issue in this case is the responsibility of both parties to show their efforts to find employment.
The husband’s child support payments were reduced because the husband showed that his decrease in income was the result of extenuating circumstances, and through no fault of his own. He was also able to show that, although unsuccessful, he made efforts to increase his income.
The wife, on the other hand, showed no efforts to maximize her employment opportunities. With regards to her income, she merely stated that she had none. As a result, an income of $15,000.00 (an amount that she was believed to have earned as a dance and yoga instructor) was imputed and she was ordered to provide documentary evidence of her efforts to maximize her income.
This case shows that, when no children or other dependents require full-time care, both parties have an obligation to make efforts to find and maximize employment and educational opportunities. This obligation applies equally to parties who are already employed and to those who did not work during the marriage.