When and Why Retirement is NOT Considered a Material Change in Circumstances

Hanniman v Hanniman, 2017 ONSC 7536
Eight months after signing a separation agreement, the Applicant voluntarily retired from the RCMP at the age of 52 after a 35 year career. He is moving to terminate his spousal support obligations and his obligation to maintain the Respondent as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy, due to a material change in circumstances.
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The Importance of Life Insurance Clauses

This case of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice signifies the importance of life insurance clauses in Separation Agreements and a lawyer’s role in implementing same. Generally, in order to be effective, a life insurance clause in a Separation Agreement must first be put in place and then actually designate one spouse as an irrevocable beneficiary. Without the aforementioned in place, there is no point in having a life insurance clause as proposed security for support.
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The Dangers of Unequal Bargaining Power: Butler v Butler, 2015 ONSC 6796

The parties, Mr. and Ms. Butler began living together in 1979. They were married in 1982 and raised two children (both adults now). The couple jointly owned their home. Throughout their relationship and after, Mr. Butler worked on the automotive assembly line at Honda Canada. Ms. Butler assumed the role of a traditional stay-at-home mother; she maintained the home, cared for and raised the children, and had no substantial paid employment over the last 26 years.
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