Ontario Civil

Family Law


In family law proceedings generally

Wife entitled to costs after successfully arguing parties did not have binding agreement

Following separation, wife brought proceeding for variety of relief including order for sale of jointly owned company. Husband claimed parties came to agreement regarding property. Wife acknowledged parties had reached agreement in principle but insisted many essential terms remained outstanding so there was no binding agreement. Motion judge dismissed husband's motion for partial judgment based on agreement. Judge found not all essential terms had been agreed upon. Parties made submissions on costs. Wife was awarded costs of $20,000 all-inclusive. Wife was successful party and was presumptively entitled to costs. Motion was important to both parties, difficult but not complex on legal issues. Husband did not act unreasonably or in bad faith, but he was responsible for position taken at motion. Wife did not engage in unreasonable behaviour. Neither party made formal offer to settle. No motion was brought after endorsement was released based on wife's actions in sending judge material after argument of motion, so no information provided after motion was considered. Time spent by wife's counsel was excessive.
Bouchard v. Poulin (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 15201, 2017 ONSC 5949, Shelston J. (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 8513, 2017 ONSC 3328, Shelston J. (Ont. S.C.J.).


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