In the 2021 decision of Virey v. Virey, the court looked at its ability to grant a dependent relief claim even in the face of a full and final divorce judgment and minutes of settlement that stated emphatically that support would end upon the former husband’s death. However, the facts of the case were so compelling, that the court exercised its jurisdiction under the Succession Law Reform Act, section 63(4) that allows it to make an award for support despite an agreement to the contrary.
The former wife would have been left with only $1,100 per month in OAS and CPP benefits in contrast to monthly expenses of $4,500. The ex-wife was 94 years of age and lived in a seniors residence. She had been married to her former spouse for over 40 years and they had nine children together. The court had the discretion to ignore the court order and the binding agreement and it did so feeling it was appropriate in all of the circumstances.
We always warn our clients that various releases contained in marriage contracts and separation agreements are not always binding if the statutes permit the court to ignore them. This is one of those circumstances.