Husband Ordered to Pay His Wife For His Outrageous Behavior

DSC00507 (2)It happens far too often in family law…a marriage breakdown that should and could be resolved, turns into scorched earth litigation.

Case in point: Madam Justice Watchuk in British Columbia’s Supreme Court walloped a litigant for his reprehensible behavior, ordering him to pay $35,000 to his wife. His over-the-top antics included rude, nasty, demeaning, and inflammatory language directed against his former wife, his wife’s lawyer and the court process itself, during a nineteen-day custody trial.

The usual rule in litigation is that the losing party must pay “costs” to the winning party. Costs are not, however, a reimbursement of the successful party’s legal fees, rather they are a contribution to them, usually amounting to about one-third.

In this case the judge ordered the father to pay “special costs”. These costs are intended to punish a litigant for outrageous or reprehensible behavior before the trial or during the court process.

What seemed to escape this belligerent litigant is that no judge will award shared parenting to an individual who is so out-of-control that he cannot rein in his rage in the face of the court.

Yes, there are litigants whose attitude and behavior is despicable, but they are smart enough to clean up their act by the time they get to court, as if butter couldn’t melt in their mouth. Often times these narcissistic creeps fool the court into believing they are the ones who have been abused.

What is common in these cases is that by the time the trial begins, they have alienated any lawyer who had the misfortune to try to assist them. As well, some percentage of these types of litigant don’t want a lawyer because they believe that acting in person allows them greater freedom to harangue, harass, and obfuscate the issues.

Unfortunately, many of these reprobates simply ignore court orders and it would not surprise me if this woman never sees the money she has been awarded, particularly because the fellow in this case spent a lot of his time in the United Kingdom.

But, you may say, once the trial is done, it’s over? Not so fast…these litigants often appeal the trial court’s decision and for good measure, often report their spouse’s lawyer to the Law Society alleging unfounded unethical conduct.

Wise words to family law lawyers: Run as fast as you can when you see this kind of client. It is never worth it…

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

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4 thoughts on “Husband Ordered to Pay His Wife For His Outrageous Behavior

  1. This pretty much describes my trial. He represented himself. However, where I live, most divorce courts do not typically award attorney fees to the winning party, and they also take into account your assets. I had more than my ex.

  2. Hello, thanks for this post, LawDiva.

    I have a different opinion: Men are “shouting out” at the “system” because it is the NEEDED to tell the world the truth that the court system in BC are stronly biased and anti-men. Anybody who walks through the hundreds of reported cases in Canlii.org can easily see this. In Canlii.org, I have even seen a BC man (an engineer) sue the wife’s lawyer personally in a futile attempt to get some justice for the many lies that lawyers use against men. As Hedy Fry MP for Vancouver opined: Women can lie in court withouit reprecussions.

    There is also a relevant and interesting case where a dad, who owns a law firm, sues his second wife (lawyer) and takes her to the Supreme Court of Canada, then back to “square one” (thanks to a favorable SCC ruling), and then appeals the costs ruling. So, that was five courts, and 10 years. Having a law firm, he made good use of his employees, no doubt, The costs ruling are interesting, because they went against the man, even though it seems, to me, that he won.

    His wife got a “good review” from the BC judge who had to re-run the divorce at the “first” court level, blah blah blah.

    Why did this man want to go this much into litigation, when he had a nice law firm to run, a million dollar house, kids, etc? Was he just a nasty lawyer? I don’t know. But, it was his lawyer ex-wife who took him to court to try and get their pre-nup contract “torn up” by the courts. In other words, a “breach of contract” issue, which the wife wanted to grab more of the marriage assets.

    If I recall correctly, the Supreme Court of Canada said that the prenup contract was enforceable, so that’s why they went back to the BC trial court.

    I say, “kudus” to the male lawyer firm owner who took his wife to 5 courts, “on principles.”

    For people who don’t own law firms but have wives that also breach contracts, etc, all they can do is YELL at the system (her lawyer, judges, an the like). As the book, “The Predatory Female” by Rev. Shannon(?) writes, guys will be “crucified” in court.

    Too much legal costs? Yup, I agree, but that is another topic.

    No different from THE DIVORCE FROM HELL, a front page article in Toronto Life that was made into a book. In the DIVORCE FROM HELL, it was the woman who wanted to stay in the upper-class house, even though at least one judge said she was going to spend herself into bankruptcy, I think.

    Just my two cents: The divorce court system is a system to take (most, if not all) the money away from the “stupid” and the “crazy” which imo includes narcissists.

    Finally, not all lawyers are bad, imo. But it is really hard to find a lawyer who is both competent and honest. I like the Law Diva’s blog site, which is apparently uncensored.

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