In this case, the parties were married in 2001 and separated in 2021. They had two children, aged 18 and 14. When the parties met, the Mother was working and training to become an actor, and the Father was appointed Director at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. After the parties had children, the Mother stayed home to care for the children, and the Father worked to provide for the family.
The Father worked in various executive positions with increasing salaries. The Mother tried to return to the acting workforce when the children were in school full-time. However, the Mother could not get back into her acting career as the family had to relocate to Spain in 2018 when the Father got offered a new job running global partnerships for Real Madrid CF.
During the pandemic, the Father was offered a new position in New York as a President of business operations at Madison Square Gardens. After the parties had separated, the Husband continued to live and work at Madison Square Gardens, where he was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.
The parties agreed that the Mother was entitled to both child support and compensatory spousal support. The issues in this motion addressed the quantum of compensatory spousal support and child support and whether to order support retroactively.
In determining the quantum of support, the Court first accounted for the $1.25 million USD base salary the Father received and his $1.24 million USD bonus as it was included in income in the 2022 year it was received. The third source of income the Court had included for support purposes was a $140,000 USD stipend the Father received for his position in Tilray Brands Inc. The Father also arrived at the $2.63 million USD total income from these sources in his motion position. However, the Court further included another source of income in the analysis. The Court included the $80,000 CDN amount the Father received from the Father’s company match program benefits.
Moreover, the Father’s restricted stock units (RSU) and long-term incentive plan compensation were not included as income or property for the interim support calculation as the RSUs vested after separation, and there is still unclear law regarding this area. Thus, using the total amount based on the three sources of income, the Court found the Father’s income for interim support to be at least $3,556,202 CND.
Regarding entitlement to an increase in income post-separation, the Court found that the Mother is entitled on an interim basis to the post-separation increase in income, as there was a direct link between the Father’s new position and the Mother’s contribution to the marriage.
The Father was already paying $20,000 CND net of combined child and spousal support and argued he should continue paying this amount. However, based on the interim income of at least $3,556,202 CND, the Court determined a more individualized analysis was needed as his income was beyond the ceiling amount.
The factors the Court considered in determining the quantum included that the parties were part of a long-term marriage, and the Mother was financially dependent on the Father for her and the children’s care. The Court used the means and needs test while budgeting the lifestyles of both parties to determine the quantum. The Court found that the Father had sufficient income to maintain similar lifestyles in the two households if the Father was ordered to pay $60,000 net per month. The Court then turned to the issue of retroactive support and found that since the trial was four months away, that issue could be determined later.
In summary, the Court found the Mother was entitled to an interim support amount of $60,000 per month, as she suffered an economic disadvantage because of the breakdown of the marriage.