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Digest of the Week | Lack of Disclosure

Lack of disclosure by husband not found in Ontario Superior Court of Justice domestic contract case

Balsmeier v. Balsmeier

2016 CarswellOnt 8711

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Family law --- Domestic contracts and settlements — Validity — Essential validity and capacity — Lack of disclosure

Husband was 50 years old at time parties met and was wealthy — Wife was 42 years old at time parties met and was not wealthy — Husband required pre-nuptial agreement — Wife had lawyer when negotiating agreement — Wife was not happy with final agreement but executed it — Husband provided schedule setting out assets — Parties separated after three years of marriage — Husband retired — Wife sought to set aside marriage contract — Wife's application dismissed — Marriage contract was not set aside — Terms of marriage contract completely addressed wife's entitlement to spousal support and court declined to make alternate award — Husband's income in schedule referred to projected future income and to this extent it was not misrepresentation as it was future estimation — Wife could have sought clarification of income figures in husband's schedule, but did not — While it would have been prudent for husband to volunteer disclosure regarding current income, failure to do so was not sufficient to ground wife's claim to set aside marriage contract — Wife was aware husband was wealthy and she did not rely upon disclosure that husband made to her detriment if at all — Wife made material misrepresentations regarding her own financial circumstances — Wife understood nature and consequences of marriage contract prior to executing it — Wife did not show there were unconscionable circumstances surrounding negotiation of agreement — Agreement was not improvident — Spousal support terms accorded with and might be superior to what would have been granted to wife — Wife did not show husband exerted any undue influence on her or that he otherwise manipulated or coerced her into signing agreement — Wife did not execute marriage contract under duress or illegitimate pressure — Husband made no material misrepresentation on which wife relied in executing marriage contract — Both parties received independent legal advice from experienced family law lawyers — Negotiations surrounding marriage contract were not fundamentally flawed.

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