Santilli v. Piselli, 2010 ONSC 1301, [2010] W.D.F.L. 2127, [2010] W.D.F.L. 2136

In this case Justice Lauwers of the Ontario Superior Court presided over an appeal brought by the Respondent-husband regarding the amount of spousal and child support he was ordered to pay. The initial order imputed income to him in the amount of $60,000.00 and required that he pay $902.00 per month per child as well as $1,798.00 to his spouse, the cumulative amount being $2,700.00.

The Respondent did not dispute the amount of income that was imputed to him, however, he did dispute the orders for support stating that, at trial, Justice Mulligan erroneously relied on a previous “without prejudice” order as opposed to determining the amount independently of said order. The consequence of this reliance was that the amounts ordered far exceeded the guideline amounts for both child and spousal support. Counsel for the Respondent-husband submitted that the whole purpose of the guidelines is to ensure predictability and certainty of the law. By allowing the initial order to stand Justice Lauwers would be setting a dangerous precedent whereby he would be threatening to undermine the policy goals attempting to be achieved.

Justice Lauwers agreed with this submission and as a result granted leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 62.02(4)(b) of the Family Law Rules. Moreover, he varied the support payments, requiring instead that $883.00 be paid in child support and $1,000.00 for spousal.

Andrew Feldstein

The Feldstein Family Law Group (FFLG) is one the largest family law firms that practices Family Law exclusively in Greater Toronto, with ten lawyers and counting. The boutique law firm has won the Top Choice Award for Family Law™ in Toronto for the past eleven years (2007 to 2017 inclusive).

Managing Partner Andrew Feldstein has been practicing family law for more than 20 years and frequently comments on Family Law issues through the media. The Feldstein Family Law Group offers vast written, video, and media resources on its website to those who find that they need to end their relationship.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. This case is a very interesting one in that it reinforces and illustrates the importance of the Child Support Guidelinesand the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. This is so much so that Justice Lauwers granted the Respondent Husband’s Motion for leave to appeal the decision of Justice Mulligan, which departed from both of these pieces of legislation, on the grounds of correctness. This decision also upholds the importance of “without prejudice” agreements and Orders as being beyond a Court’s reach in terms of making an award commensurate with same simply because it had been previously agreed to. This is very important, as any other decision would diminish the value of such agreements and Orders, which are used often. Lastly, it is important to note that, despite his decision to grant leave to appeal, Justice Lauwers did require the Respondent Husband to pay the $2,700.00 as Ordered by Justice Mulligan. This illustrates and reinforces the importance of Court Orders and the need to abide by same.

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