Trial Judge was entitled to wholly prefer evidence of one expert

Ontario civil | Family Law

Division of family property

Practice and procedure

Trial Judge was entitled to wholly prefer evidence of one expert

Parties separated after 40-year marriage, leading to protracted matrimonial litigation. Trial judge found in favour of husband on most issues, ordering wife to pay $140,000 equalization and costs in amount of $109,248. Wife appealed. Appeal dismissed. Weight to be given by experts’ opinions was wholly within province of trial judge who gave cogent reasons for preferring husband’s expert over wife’s expert valuator of farm equipment. Trial judge’s failure to strictly follow correct approach on whether to award unequal share of net family property did not affect outcome. Financial issues were not complex. Wife held title to matrimonial home with equity of about $250,000 while husband owned farm equipment that his appraiser valued at $83,800. Since husband’s expert opinion was accepted, it was apparent that there would be substantial equalization payment from wife.
Keresturi v. Keresturi (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 2434, 2017 ONCA 162, G.R. Strathy C.J.O., John Laskin J.A., and G.T. Trotter J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2015), 2015 CarswellOnt 9635, 2015 ONSC 3565, R.J. Harper J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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