Actor Kate Walsh and executive Alex Young separated only 14 months after their September 2007 wedding. On February 6, 2010, the couple finalized their divorce. This means that their divorce lasted almost as long as their marriage.
Whether you're getting divorced in Ontario or not, the more the parties disagree and the more issues there are to disagree about, the longer the divorce will take. This divorce was ugly right from the start. Young thought Walsh was hiding income and involved all sorts of third parties, including accountants and the Disney Corporation, in attempts to ascertain her income. Also, because Walsh and Young were married for such a short period of time, they had to deal with an issue that most divorcing couples don't: outstanding wedding expenses.
By the time of trial, two main issues had to be dealt with, namely spousal support and division of assets.
Young claimed entitlement to spousal support right from the beginning. The court denied his claim.
Ontario courts would likely have made the same decision because Ontario law states that parties are entitled to spousal support where they are in need of support and/or they are entitled to compensation. Young, with a $1 million salary, is likely not in need of support. Because Young likely did little to contribute to Walsh's success through work done in the home or elsewhere, he would likely not be entitled to spousal support for compensatory reasons.
Division of Assets
The court decided that Walsh could keep the Matrimonial Home, where she alone had been living in since separation, and awarded Young a payment of $627,000 for his share of the couples' property. This is reported to be far less than Young was expecting.
It is difficult to determine what Ontario courts would likely have done on this issue without knowing each parties assets and liabilities, but Ontario courts would have the option to make an unequal division of the value of the couples' property because they were married for such a short period of time. Generally speaking, for marriages that last for less than five years, Ontario courts can award an unequal division of Net Family Property.
As for the smaller assets, such as furniture and art, the parties will take turns choosing which items they want to keep. Whoever wins a coin toss gets to choose first.
This is a method chosen by many Ontarians who divorce, if they cannot decide who will keep what between themselves, because it allows each party to decide what they will keep without having to fight over every single item in court or through their lawyers. However, the courts in Ontario would not typically make such an Order but they would Order the sale of all the furniture.
Thank goodness the couple has no children. Who knows how long the divorce would have lasted if they had to fight over custody and access too?