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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.