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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 410
OP Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 410
Janice Tibbetts Can West News Service
Published Thursday, June 22, 2006

OTTAWA - Canada's no fault Divorce law should not stop courts from considering a cheating spouse's marital transgressions when awarding support if the jilted party is too traumatized to work, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday.

But Justice Ian Binnie, writing for the unanimous bench, emphasized that the ruling is not meant to send Canada back to the days of blame in Divorce, when the amount and duration of payments were directly based on fault in a marriage breakdown.

"There is, of course, a distinction between the emotional consequences of misconduct and the misconduct itself, " said the 7-0 decision. "The consequences are not rendered irrelevant because of their genesis in the other spouse's misconduct.

The ruling upheld a support award of $2,250 a month for Sherry Leskun of Abbotsford, which was based on several factors, including her inability to achieve economic self- sufficiency because she was devastated after her husband left her for another woman.

The 1985 Divorce Act removed fault from Divorce and the issue before the Supreme Court was whether the case of Leskun vs Leskun revived the concept of blame.

Courts have struggled with what to do when spouses complain that matrimonial misdeeds have financial consequences after Divorce.

Binnie said it is clear under the law "that misconduct should not creep back into the court's deliberation" when setting the amount of spousal support.

"Misconduct, as such, is off the table as a relevant consideration, " he wrote.

However, he added that the consequences of misconduct can be "highly relevant" citing as examples the Leskun case and instances of spousal abuse that trigger a depression that leaves a person unemployable.

Brenda Cossman, a family law expert at the University of Toronto, said the ruling may "open a can or worms" by potentially giving extra ammunition to wronged spouses seeking financial support.

"The court is trying to make a clear statement where we're not going back to the bad old days when fault determined everything, " she said "but there's a red flag around this case that suggests if you're so emotionally devastated by the affair, you're going to want to argue that in the context of spousal support. That's what is slightly troubling about this decision. The thrust of family law has been to get away from all of that. We don't want to get back to who did what to who."

The battle of Leskun vs Leskun began in the summer of 1998, when Sherry Leskun then 51, learned that she was being dumped for another woman. At the time she had just lost her longtime banking job, she was recovering from painful back surgery, and she been planning a move to Chicago to join Gary Leskun, her husband of 20 years, in his new city of employment.

"This is a person who really had the whole world come crashing down around her, " said Colin Millar, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to help argue Sherry Leskun's side because she has represented herself in this case.

Over the next few years, Gary Leskun's infidelity consumed his former wife and prevented her from making a new life for herself after the couple divorced.

Gary Leskun was earning more than $200,000 annually and he had a net worth of about $1 million when a judge ordered him six years ago to pay Sherry Leskun $2,250 per month. He went to court three years later in a failed bid to have the payments reduced or cut off partly because he said it was time for his ex- wife, with 34 years of banking experience, to find a new job. The lower courts in BC ordered him to continue to pay support to Sherry Leskun on the grounds that his misconduct was one of several factors contributing to her inability to get back on her feet financially.

Sherry Leskun will getting this spousal support for life....

M 30 yrs. WS 50 (him) BS 51 (me) S 30 Granddaughters 5 and 8 DD July 4/03 MO Oct 4/03 NC Feb 14/04 Resumed A with OW March 1/04 Filed Petition for Divorce Jan13/05 How Many Roads Must A Man Travel Down Before He Admits He Is Lost?
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 6,141
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 6,141
If the shoes were on the other feet, she cheated and he was claiming to broken up to support himself, I think the court would laugh him out of the room.

Either we have no-fault divorce or we don't. They should decide.

On this day I see clearly.
Everything has come to light.
A bitter place and a broken dream,
and we'll leave it all behind.
On this day its so real to me
Everything has come to life
Another chance to chase a dream
Another chance to feel
Chance to feel alive
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,204
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,204
Well Canada is interesting when it comes to divorce.

In Canada, unless you prove you were abused or grossly neglected, or there was adultry, you have to be and prove you have been seperated for a year before you are granted a divorce. If you can proove adultry or neglect(real neglect) or abuse, you can divorce within that year.

But when it comes to court...the adultry doesn't make a difference usually unless the betrayed spouse files immediately and the court sides for him/her. It makes some court battles up here VERY messy as there is no real line of fault.

I was very please to hear the case above, that she continue to receive spousal support - but in most cases in canada, after 2-3 years...they usually expect you to be back on your feet - especially if you are younger...

I do like the fact that you can't divorce for a year up here unless you proove something is going on...cause for BS's who are in MB...their WS can't file for a divorce for a year...and it's a year they have to work with...

Dorry (aka Deeplysorry)
me FWW - EA/PA fall of 2004
FWH EA/PA late spring 2005
Got our acts together July 2005 and started recovery.

The Recovery Guide for WW's (Wayward Wives)
Dorry's Story

[color:"blue"]Excuses are easy...change is hard....[/color]

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