Mar 18, 2014

Summary of Ferguson v. Gates

Ferguson v. Gates, 2010 NSSC 88 (CanLII)
The husband sought to terminate spousal support and remove the wife from his medical benefits. Both had remarried and his new spouse had medical problems and insufficient coverage to cover all of her costs. The wife sought increased support. The parties had been married 21 years and the wife put aside her career to raise the children, enabling the husband to pursue post graduate studies and increased income. The evidence showed the wife and her spouse had lower combined incomes than the husband and his spouse.Application dismissed. Support should continue at the level already provided for in the Corollary Relief Judgment. There was a material change in circumstances, but the wife was still entitled to support on both a compensatory and non-compensatory basis. There was no evidence to prove a need for increased support. Simply asserting inflation is insufficient, and her new spouse's income would likely offset any such effects. The parties' marriage history created a pattern of dependancy whereby they relied on the husband's income. Despite her efforts, the wife had yet to overcome the financial disadvantages stemming from the marriage. Her remarriage did little more than reduce some of her expenses.