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In the matter of Oxley v Oxley the parties separated in May 2008.  In June 2009, a temporary court order was made compelling the husband to pay the wife’s court costs along with temporary spousal in the amount of $4,200.00, and temporary child support in the amount of $1,414.00.  The husband only made partial payment of support and avoided payment of any court costs altogether.

In 2006, the husband’s income was $202,000.00.  However, in the year of separation, the husband’s income plummeted significantly to $101,000.00.  In October 2009, the husband voluntarily left his employment and cited health reasons as the cause for his resignation.  The husband was earning $100,000.00 when he left his employment.  Following his resignation, the husband had no source of income which resulted in him defaulting on his support obligations; ultimately owing $50,000.00 in arrears for both spousal and child support.

On the basis of the change in his financial circumstances, the husband brought a motion to vary the temporary spousal support order as well as well as other relief.  In response to the husband’s motion, the wife brought her own motion to stay the husband’s motion.  Nonetheless, the husband’s motion to vary was granted.  Ongoing temporary spousal support was varied to $2,500 per month, effective December 2009, provided the husband cured the default within thirty days of the order.

Rule 14(23) of the Family Law Rules provides that a party who does not obey an order that was made on motion is not entitled to any further order from the court unless the court orders that the sub-rule does not apply.  As such, the Order to reduce the husband’s support obligation was not to take effect until he had accounted for the support payments on which he had defaulted.

In addition, the court found that at the time of the initial temporary order, the husband had substantial cash savings and therefore deliberately chose not to comply with the temporary order with respect to the costs awarded against him.

The Family Law Rules provide the Court with wide discretion to make an appropriate court order under the circumstances.  To that end, the husband was ordered to pay temporary support for 2009 before the varied support would take effect.