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High asset divorce between Canadian billionaires

Alberta hockey fans may wish to know that the Vancouver Courthouse may be experiencing the biggest divorce trial in British Columbia history if the soon-to-be exes do not reach a settlement by Sept. 9. The billionaire Canucks co-owner and his wife have yet to settle their divorce, with only a few days to go before the trial is set.

Even though proving fault is not usually required in divorces, the wife alleged that adultery was to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. Current divorce law allows couples to split without drudging up as much dirt against the other spouse by only requiring that the couple show that they have been separated for a year. However, the wife asked a judge to compel her husband to answer questions regarding the allegations of adultery, which were part of her divorce filings. The judge ruled against her on the motion.

The wife also filed a motion earlier this year asking the judge to order the sale of a wine collection owned by her husband so that she would have enough money to pay for the litigation. The judge also ruled against her on this motion, as it is not common for a court to order the sale of property before the trial ensues, unless both parties reach an agreement about the sale. Although the court may order funds to be paid in advance to compensate an accountant or other person valuing assets, this couple had already done so.

Family law lawyers may be able to provide assistance to spouses who are embarking upon a high-net worth divorce. These types of divorces may be more complex due to the high value of real estate, business interests, investments or other assets. Family law lawyers may be able to suggest ways to protect a spouse's financial and legal interests.

Source: Canada.com, "Canucks Divorce Trial Will Play to Standing Room Only", Georgialee Lang, September 05, 2013

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