${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

Rancour And Regret Over Spousal Support In A Hot Real Estate Market

In September 2008, Darren Stafford Lamont and Arlene Mae Johnson divorced. The B.C. couple agreed to part ways with him keeping $130,000 in RRSPs and she the matrimonial home. Nothing amiss until the recent spike in home values made Lamont do a serious rethink on the original settlement.

Valued at $700,000 when the couple divorced in 2008, the home shot up to over $1.1 million by September 2015. Apparently figuring that the windfall was reason enough to seek a reduction - if not complete elimination - of his monthly $842 support payments to Johnson, Lamont took the matter to court.

Lamont argued that the increased value of the matrimonial home constituted the kind of material change in circumstances (MCIC) required under the Divorce Act to warrant varying spousal support.

Justice Frits Verhoeven disagreed, explaining that an MCIC involves an event that is unforeseeable by either party at the time of the original settlement. While the exact extent of change in housing values may be completely unpredictable, Justice Verhoeven pointed out: "It is an obvious fact that the value of real estate will likely change over the course of time."

He added further: "The increase of value of the house does not change the present day financial circumstances of the wife in the slightest." He added: "Aside from the house, she has nothing."

Johnson walked away with house and spousal support intact.

It's one more case in the annals, reminding us that we have yet to plumb the depths of divorce issues in the midst of contemporary change and development.

Lessons To Be Learned:

  1. Get legal help to arrive at fair settlement you can live with.
  2. If your ex wins the lottery, you might just have yourself a case. Otherwise, don't rely on housing market gyrations - no matter how wild - to fly in court as a basis for varying support payments already agreed upon in times past.

Call us. Let's talk.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

shameless self promotion

  • Quinn Ross Takes Office As President Of The Ontario Bar Association

    The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) is pleased to announce Quinn Ross as the 83rd President of the OBA.

    Ross, Managing Partner of The Ross Firm, with offices in Goderich, Kincardine and Stratford, has been an active member in senior roles on the OBA board since 2012.

    Read More

  • Ross Firm Golf Tourney In Support of Huron Women’s Shelter a Swinging Success

    On behalf of the Huron Women’s Shelter and The Ross Firm P.C., we say “THANK YOU” to our many Sponsors and Donators for their outpouring of generosity and support for the annual Take a Swing Against Violence Golf Tournament held at Goderich Sunset Golf Club.

    Read More

  • Who needs a Will? You do!

    Our guests can explain why. Are you single and renting? A new Family? Or Homeowner? Enjoying your Golden Years? We all need a Will and our guest speakers will show you the why and the way.

    Read More

  • Take a Swing Against Violence

    On June 21, 2017, the Huron Women’s Shelter Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services, Board of Directors and The Ross Firm will be hosting the Taking a Swing Against Violence golf tournament at the Goderich Sunset Golf Course.

    Read More

View All

Send Us An Email. Talk To Us. We Can Help.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers, contact The Ross Firm online or give us a call toll free at 888-567-4917.

Contact Us

Goderich Office
144 Courthouse Square
Suite 100
Goderich, ON N7A 1M9

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-524-8438
Map & Directions

Stratford Office
1 Ontario Street
2nd Floor
Stratford, ON N5A 3G7

Toll Free: 888-567-4917
Fax: 519-814-5533
Map & Directions

Kincardine Office
943 Queen Street
Kincardine, ON N2Z 2Y8

Phone: 226-396-5532
Fax: 226-396-5533
Map & Directions