In a recent case, a wife whose husband divorced her without her knowledge was granted everything she asked for after her husband failed to respond to her application for custody and child support.

What Happened?

The Marriage

The wife immigrated to Canada in May 2005 and obtained her Canadian citizenship in 2012. 

On July 10, 2009, the wife married the husband in Toronto, Ontario. At the time they married, the husband lived in Louisiana in the United States. The wife stayed in Canada until their first child was born in June 2010. The wife and her daughter then moved to Louisiana. 

Their second daughter was born in February 2014 and the wife lived with the husband in Louisiana until 2016.  

The Separation

The parties separated in unusual circumstances. 

In December 2015, the husband suggested that the wife take the children to Pakistan for a vacation. She questioned the husband about taking the trip because her United States Green Card had expired. He advised her to travel on her Canadian passport and that there would not be any issue with her traveling.

In fact, the husband had destroyed her Green Card during a previous argument over whether she could obtain her driver’s licence. The husband then refused to sign the necessary documents to renew her Green Card. 

She took the trip to Pakistan with their daughters.

However, when the wife and their two daughters tried to return from Pakistan, she was denied re-entry into the United States because her Green Card had expired. She was stranded with their daughters in Istanbul for two days. The wife and the two children flew to Toronto, Ontario and met the husband. 

Once in Canada, the wife again tried to re-enter the United States on another flight with her husband and two children, but she was again denied re-entry to the United States.

In January 2016, the husband returned to the United States, leaving the wife and the two children in Toronto. The wife and their two children had remained in Canada after that date and the husband had remained in the United States.

Divorce and Re-Marriage

In September 2016, the wife discovered that the husband had returned to Pakistan, re-married and had brought his new wife to Louisiana. The wife only became aware of the marriage after acquaintances sent her photographs of the marriage ceremony. 

The husband also brought a divorce application in Louisiana, unbeknownst to the wife. The divorce was issued on December 1, 2016. The wife was not served with the application and did not learn that the divorce had been granted until July 2018. 

Issues

After finding out about her surprise divorce and her husband’s new marriage, the wife applied to court in Ontario for sole custody and child support from the husband. 

The husband did not respond or file any documents with the court. 

Decision

The court heard the wife’s application on an uncontested basis, explaining:

“If a respondent to an application fails to file an answer within 30 days, the court may proceed as if the respondent’s pleadings have been struck.”

As a result, the court granted the wife everything she asked for, including child support in the amount of $4,302 CAD per month.

Get Advice 

At Feigenbaum Law, our goal is to help you move forward following the breakdown of a relationship while retaining as much financial stability as possible and ensuring your children are provided for. Mark Feigenbaum is able to counsel his clients on all potential risks that may result from a family law dispute, not just those related strictly to the breakdown of a marriage. Contact Mark online or call him at (905) 695-1269 or toll-free at (877) 275-4792 to book a consultation.