Friday, February 17, 2006

Should Cheating Husband Pay Alimony ?

Today, I read about this news in Canada.com. Well, we should give it a serious thought.

Here is what it says ...

OTTAWA -- Canada's top court will decide whether a cheating husband will have to continue paying spousal support to his ex-wife because the alleged emotional damage he caused her through his actions has prevented her from working.

The case takes into question the issue of Canada's no-fault divorce system, in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require fault on either side of the union.

Gary Leskun, who married his wife Sherry in 1978, moved to Chicago for work in 1998, while his wife remained in Vancouver, B.C. A few months later, he was seeing someone else and told his wife he wanted a divorce.

About that time, Sherry lost her job and suffered a back injury, and has not worked since. Leskun initially agreed to the support payment at the time of the divorce, but later tried to get it reduced.

In 2004, a B.C. Court of Appeal decided in a 2-1 ruling that Gary Leskun must keep paying more than $2,200 a month in alimony payments, because the emotional damage caused by his actions has kept his wife Sherry from working.

The Court ruled that support payments shouldn't be based on the misconduct of either spouse, but added that the wife was unable to become financially self-sufficient due to the emotional devastation of her husband's behaviour.

However, Canadian father's rights groups, which have been monitoring this case closely due to the potential for the impending SCOC ruling to set a new precedent, say the case is interesting because it restores "fault" as a factor in determining divorce settlements. Until this point, Canada's no-fault divorce system recognizes that it is difficult to sort out who is the "worst offender" in a marriage breakdown; usually both sides share the blame.

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