Bhupal v. Bhupal : Varying Spousal Support
The couple were married in 1988 and had one child of the marriage. The couple had separated in 2004. Pursuant to the Minutes of Settlement ("Minutes") in 2006, the Husband was required to pay $4,912.00 of spousal support monthly. The Minutes further stated that prior to review in 2011; spousal support would only be varied if there was a material change in circumstances. However, the Minutes were silent about any change in support if the Wife were to remarry or cohabit with another person. Subsequently, the Wife remarried a wealthy dentist.
During the time the Minutes were entered into between the parties, the Husband knew that the Wife "...was in a serious relationship that was heading towards marriage". The Court found that there was no material change in circumstances that warranted a review of the spousal support prior to 2011 because the Husband foresaw the possibility of remarriage, and believed of its likelihood. The Court found that the Husband must have taken into account the Wife's remarriage when negotiating spousal support as it was anticipated. If the Husband wanted spousal support to be reviewed prior to 2011, the Husband should have included a clause that spousal support would be reviewed upon remarriage or cohabitation.
The Court rejected the Husband's claim that he lacked adequate information to determine that his Wife was going to remarry at the time the Minutes were entered into between the parties. The Court emphasized that the Husband did have enough information to determine that the Wife was going to remarry because (1) the Wife's remarriage was to a close friend of the Husband's; (2) the Husband was aware that the new Husband was wealthy; and (3) the Husband believed at the time the Minutes were finalized that the new Husband was financially supporting the Wife.
At the end of the day, the Court decided that given the Wife had "laid her relationship on the table" and the Husband negotiated the Minutes despite having full knowledge about her remarriage; the Court did not find that the remarriage was a material change in circumstances permitting a review in spousal support.