The parties were married for 28 years and separated in November 2000. They did not share any children. The husband recoupled and had two children his new wife. There was an order in place between the parties requiring the husband to pay the wife $1,400 in monthly spousal support payments. At the age of 68, the husband wanted to retire and brought a Motion to Change to reduce his support amount. The former wife, now 76, brought a cross motion to increase support, and sought financial disclosure from both her former husband and his new wife.
The former wife sought broad disclosure and a valuation of the husband’s pension in order to determine if it had increased since the date of separation. The extensive disclosure and valuation was denied by the court because it was premised on speculation, and was therefore found to be unreasonable. In the husband’s financial statement, he disclosed his current wife’s income and how they share expenses. Justice Horkins found that this level of disclosure from a new partner is typically sufficient. There is no right to disclosure beyond these essential facts. She notes that a former spouse is not entitled to the “full financial picture” of a spouse’s new partner by right. Entitling parties to this sort of disclosure would be extensive and intrusive.
As Justice Kristjanson stated in Politis v. Politis, 2018 ONSC 323 at para. 17: “Compelling the production of personal income, asset and other financial information of new life partners is highly invasive of personal privacy and generally of minimal relevance. The privacy interests of third party new partners must be carefully balanced against the interests of the parties to the family law proceeding, and any production order carefully scrutinized.”
Justice Horkins found that the husband’s decision to retire was justified and reasonable. Furthermore, his retirement constitutes a material change in circumstances and the husband is entitled to a variation and termination of spousal support effective immediately. The original Separation Agreement called upon the parties to support themselves out of their own capital without recourse to the other, and Justice Horkins indicated that the time had come for the wife to use her capital as such.
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