Spousal Support Guidelines & Financial Disclosure

The parties in Osanlo v. Onghaei were married in Iran in 1999 and had two children. They successfully applied for landed immigrant status in Canada and moved to Richmond Hill in 2008. In 2011, the parties, with their children, returned to Iran to celebrate the Iranian New Year on March 20. While in Iran, all of the wife’s identification including her birth certificate, passport, permanent residence card and other Canadian identification went missing. Shortly thereafter, the husband left for Canada with their two young children. Upon realizing that the husband left with the children, the wife discovered that the husband had barred her exit from Iran, as under Islamic law, a wife cannot leave Iran without her husband’s permission.

Before the wife could return to Canada, the husband sold the matrimonial home without the wife’s consent and also cohabitated with another woman. From Iran, the wife was able to instruct Ontario counsel to obtain an emergency Order with respect to the sale proceeds of the property and obtained an order that the husband not remove the children from Ontario.

The wife was able to return to Canada in June of 2011. Upon arrival she learned that she had been replaced by her husband’s second “wife,” Ms. Alimardani, who was now caring for the parties’ children.

The wife brought an Application for interim spousal support and other relief as she had no savings, financial means, or the ability to earn income in Canada.  The judge found that the wife’s entitlement to spousal support was not an issue.

The husband’s financial affairs were a “mystery” as quoted by the Judge. He did not disclose Financial Statements for his business, nor did he disclose any Corporate Tax Returns, company or personal bank accounts, or any details pertaining to his assets or debts within his Financial Statement.

The Court observed many inconsistencies within the husband’s pleadings, affidavit materials and submissions. His Line 150 income during and after the marriage did not correlate with his personal and family’s lifestyle. As such, the Judge took the husband’s expenses as the best indication of his income for support purposes only. The Judge stated that the husband’s expenses were being met without resulting in debt and so she imputed the husband’s income at $120,000.00.

This case is important for two reasons:

First, the Judge found that this was an appropriate case to deviate from the SSAG, as she saw no basis to award an amount limited to the range of SSAG, as in the Judge’s opinion, “to limit the award of spousal support to the high range of the custodial formula would in my view frustrate the intention of the Guidelines: to financially support the role of a primary care parent.” As such the Judge made an award outside of the SSAG framework.

Second, the Judge also made an order for disclosure in which the Judge ordered what disclosure as requested by the wife had to be provided by the husband and if the disclosure was not provided, the husband would not be able to take any further steps in the proceedings until he produced same.

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