Mar 18, 2014

Summary of Whalen v. Whalen

Whalen v. Whalen, 2008 NSSC 244 (CanLII)
A retired husband sought to vary (reduce) his spousal support payments to his 60-year-old ex-wife. The parties were together for 13 years and had no children. The husband had supported the wife during their relationship, and had paid spousal support (on a non-compensatory basis) of $300/month since 2004. The wife had no employment income, but shared in the husband's pension. Since 2004, there had been a property division and there was no evidence as to what the wife had done with her share, nor was there any evidence of efforts to obtain employment. The original order had determined the parties were both disadvantaged by the marriage breakdown.Spousal support varied (reduced) to $100, to continue indefinitely. The court looked at the parties' respective means and incomes and the fact they both continued to be disadvantaged by the marriage breakdown. The husband could not meet the wife's needs. He had 21 per cent less gross income than he did at the time of the original order, which had contemplated the wife would make some efforts to become self-sufficient. When the wife turns 65, she will be eligible for pension benefits and a termination might be appropriate at that time, depending on the circumstances then.