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Digest of the Week | Severability Clause Included in Error

Severability clause was included in error

McAfee v. McAfee | 2017 ONCA 785 | Ontario Court of Appeal

Domestic contracts and settlements -- Enforcement -- Jurisdiction of courts

Husband accepted favourable portions of wife’s offer to settle, relying on severability clause -- In particular, he accepted terms providing that he did not have to pay arrears of child or spousal support from date of separation to date -- Within hours of acceptance, wife’s counsel advised that severability clause was included in error and that his partial acceptance was rejected -- Motion judge held that to allow husband to accept clauses that financially benefitted him and require wife to litigate all other clauses would be blatantly unfair -- Husband appealed -- Appeal dismissed -- Motion judge was correct that mistake by wife’s counsel was obvious on face of offer and severability clause made no sense in context of offer -- Husband failed to demonstrate any error on part of motion judge that justified interference.
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