In the case of Karlovic v. Karlovic, both parties were married for 13 years, but had brief separations that punctuated the relationship. After the separation, the wife remained the primary caregiver and financially supported both children. The father did not pay child or spousal support.
The husband was a self-employed subcontractor, but stopped working after the separation due to various physical ailments. The wife went back to school after the parties separated and gained the qualifications to become a university registrar. In this position, her annual income was approximately $100,000.
The husband brought a claim for spousal support 10 years after separation. The wife brought a cross-motion for summary judgment to dismiss his claim
Not only did the husband wait for 10 years after the parties separated to bring a spousal support claim, but the motion did not come to the court for a hearing for three years. The husband did not offer any reason for the delay and there was nothing preventing him from making an earlier claim to spousal support.
Justice Kurz analyzed this issue by referring to Rule 16 of the Family Law Rules and his powers under Rule 16(6.1), turning to the principles of support under the Divorce Act. He recognized that there is no limitation period for an application for spousal support. However, extreme delay in bringing the application can defeat or diminish such a claim.
The judge asserted that there was no genuine issue requiring a trial regarding the husband's entitlement to spousal support. It was clear on the facts that he was not entitled to spousal support.
This was a medium term marriage, and parties had been separated for longer than they were married. The husband's work injuries arose many years after the separation and were not connected in any way to the relationship, which decreased his entitlement for needs-based support.
Furthermore, the wife was the primary caregiver of the children before and after the separation. The husband did not assume any childcare responsibilities and did not pay child support.
The husband had no compensatory claim for support, as any claim would be based on the matrimonial relationship itself and any financial interdependence between the parties. There was little evidence of interdependence.
While the parties were not financially interdependent after their separation, the wife offered the husband some support for over 11 years after their separation by providing him room and board.
It was very difficult to determine the husband's income because he was self-employed and he failed to keep any semblance of records, while the wife's increased income after the separation came as result of her own efforts and was unrelated to the parties' relationship.
Summary judgment was granted and the husband’s application was dismissed.
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