In a recent decision the BC Court of Appeal (Francis v. Francis 2017 BCCA 332) emphasized that they wished to encourage spouses to engage in negotiations without prejudicing their legal rights should they end up in court.

 

In this decision Ms. Francis filed a Notice of Family Claim in 2012 claiming a division of property and spousal support. In 2015 the spouses settled their property dispute but were unable to settle the spousal support issue. This was taken to court in 2015 and a judgment was granted in 2017.

 

Mr. Francis argued that he was only required to pay retroactive spousal maintenance back to 2015. The Court of Appeal said that he was required to pay retroactive spousal maintenance from 2012 onwards even though the matter had not progressed with “lightning speed.” They relied on the date the Notice of Family Claim was filed which was 2012.

 

Deborah Todd Family Law Victoria

Deborah A. Todd