Just in Time for Black Friday, the Hoff Scores 50% off Spousal Support
When David and Pamela divorced in 2006, David was paying $21,000 in spousal support. In 2016, David said he was low on cash, and the actors decided to cut the spousal support in half - to $10,000 per month.
According to TMZ, Pamela and David have now agreed that he will pay $5,000 every month in spousal support. The Hoff really wanted to slash the amount to zero - arguing that his income has reduced significantly, that he is unable to find work, and that he has already paid Bach more than $2.5 million since their divorce.
The Hoff's sweet deal kicks in on December 1, 2017 and is to end no later than November 30, 2020.
If David was resident in Ontario and seeking a variation of his spousal support obligations, he would need to demonstrate a material change in circumstances. As per section 37(2) of the Family Law Act, a court must be satisfied that there has been a material changein the payor's or the payee's circumstances or that evidence not available at the previous hearing has become available.
Similar to the Family Law Act, section 17(4.1) of the Divorce Act requires that a change in the condition, means, needs, or other circumstances of either former spouse has occurred since the spousal support order.
The test for a material change, as per the Supreme Court of Canada decision in LMP v LS, 2011 SCC 64, is a change that is substantial, continuing and that "if known at the time, would likely have resulted in a different order". It is important to note that this test can be difficult to meet, given that the change must be one the court making the original order did not foresee at the time and cannot be considered to have taken into account.
A material change in circumstances has been interpreted to include any of the following: cessation of child support; significant increases in the payor's income; birth of the child in the payor spouse's second marriage; the discovery of a permanent disability in payor or payee; financial change in circumstances; retirement of payee or payor; payee not making reasonable efforts to become employed; and/or remarriage of payee, payor or both. These are examples of circumstances that may result in a variation in spousal support, however, each case is based on its own facts.
Given the above, the change in David's income and his supposed inability to find a job could be considered a material change... but, there really is no guarantee that an Ontario court would slash the Hoff's support obligations in HALF. Maybe Black Friday deals really are better in the US!