Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines and Immigration Sponsorship
Kkabbazy v. Esfahani
This case is a reminder that the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) are only a starting point when determining spousal support, especially at an interim motion.
Furthermore, while they are useful, they cannot be used to replace the principle that interim support is generally awarded to allow a person to get to trial without undue hardship.
The parties met in early 2009 in Iran. At that time, the wife was residing in Iran and the husband, a Canadian citizen and resident, was visiting his family in Iran. They married in March of 2009. The husband then undertook to sponsor his wife to come to Canada. He undertook to support her for three years from the date that she became a permanent resident. The wife came to Canada in November of 2009.
The facts in the case were hotly contested. The parties disagreed on who wanted to end the marriage, what happened in Iran, what they earn and what they own.
The judgement discussed various issues such as the husband’s income and assets, along with whether the marriage contract (a Meher Agreement) is a legally enforceable contract in Canada. The issue of the Meher was not decided as the motion was strictly regarding interim support.
The husband argued that he had a limited income, however, the judge did not agree with same as evidenced by the husband’s lavish lifestyle.
Furthermore, Justice Sanderson stated that the husband set out to support his wife in becoming a Canadian citizen and therefore she should be provided with support in the amount that would entitle her to the standard of living that they reasonably expected to enjoy together at the time she relocated to Canada.
As such, the judge held that the amount set out in the Guidelines ($1,000 per month) would be insufficient to provide the wife with a reasonable standard of living. Justice Sanderson ordered that the husband provide the wife with a gross monthly amount that would leave the wife with a net monthly amount of $3,250.00.
Justice Sanderson also ordered that the trial be expedited within six months. She made it clear that the spousal support order amount is to provide for the wife on an interim basis until trial.