David and Anne separated after a 30-year marriage. David ran a successful home building business in Toronto which he started after the parties were married. The parties’ matrimonial home was in Toronto. Anne also had a condo in Florida as well as 2 rental properties in Toronto. Anne had originally helped David in his business by doing bookkeeping work in the beginning of their relationship but after having 3 children, the parties decided it was best for her to remain at home. By the time the parties separated, Anne had no idea what David’s income or assets were and the children were either in University or no longer dependent. The parties were income splitting prior to separation such that Anne received an income from David’s corporation of $120,000 per year. Post separation, Anne’s access to funds became limited to the money David gave to her each month for groceries and some limited spending money. Both parties retained lawyers and began to negotiate but Anne became frustrated with David’s lack of financial disclosure and refusal to pay reasonable support.
There were early issues of disclosure which had to be resolved before the parties could determine the value of the property at the date of separation and so that the property could be equalized. They also had to determine David’s income for support purposes.
After attending several court appearances where orders for disclosure were made against David, the parties agreed that a private process would be better for them. They agreed to appoint a mediator/arbitrator to assist them. They also both retained business valuators to provide reports relating to the value of the business and David’s income. Two days of mediation were only partially successful. They settled the issue of David’s income for spousal support which was fixed at $900,000 but could not agree on the value of the business. They had a 7-day arbitration in which their experts gave evidence on this issue. The Arbitrator determined the value of the business was $5,000,000. The parties agreed that Anne would keep their home in Toronto, as well as the other properties which were globally valued at approximately $5,000,000 and David would keep his business. David agreed to pay for any future education costs for the children as well as spousal support to Anne of $30,000 per month, to be reviewed when he retired. The entire process took 4 years.