HG v LG

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeBain, J.
Judgment Date26 Aug 2016
Docket Number2008/FAM/DIV/00611

Supreme Court

Bain, J.

2008/FAM/DIV/00611

HG
and
LG
Appearances:

Mr. Brian Dorsett for the petitioner

Mrs. Angenette Pyfrom for the respondent up to November 2014;

Mr. Desmond Bannister for the respondent from November 2014

Family Law - Divorce — Matrimonial assets — Whether the properties owned by the petitioner and respondent should be considered matrimonial property — Whether the South Beach property was used for the benefit of the family — Whether the respondent forged documents — Parties' interest in the bank accounts — Whether the respondent was the sole owner of the vehicle — Purchase of furniture — Contributions made by each party towards the welfare of the family — Court's considerations in exercising its discretion — Whether there were compelling reasons to depart from equity — Whether the petitioner had an interest in the respondent's pension — Costs — Section 29 of the Matrimonial Causes Act — Order 59 Rules 2 and 3 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.

Bain, J.
1

(1) The petitioner HG and the respondent LG were married on 18 May 1996. There are two children of the marriage namely AHWG born 2 March 1992 and ALSG born 2 March 1998. A Decree Nisi was granted to the respondent on her Answer and Cross Petition on 9 April 2013 on the ground that the petitioner has since the celebration of the marriage treated the respondent with cruelty. The Decree Nisi was filed on 2 May 2013.

2

(2) By Notice of Intention to Proceed with Application for Ancillary Relief filed on 23 April 2014 the petitioner applied for the following relief —

  • “1. The petitioner and the respondent have joint custody of the child of the marriage;

  • 2. The petitioner and the respondent share the child's educational, dental, optical and medically expenses equally;

  • 3. An Order that the respondent compensates the petitioner for reimbursements she received from her employers on her tuition expenses;

  • 4. An Order that the petitioner has an interest in the apartment situate South Beach and the petitioner is entitled to a lump sum for his interest in the said property;

  • 5. An Order that the respondent makes a payment to the petitioner as consideration for his interest in the furniture in the home;

  • 6. An Order that the respondent pays the petitioner's mother for her interest in the home at the time the transfer took place;

  • 7. An Order with respect to the matrimonial home that the petitioner is entitled to more than a 50% interest in the home;

  • 8. A Property Adjustment Order that the respondent purchases the petitioner's interest in the Matrimonial home and assumes responsibility for the Mortgage on the home;

  • 9. Or alternatively, the Matrimonial home be sold and the proceeds after deduction of the mortgage and the mother's interest) be divided between the petitioner and the respondent in an amount the Court deems fair and just;

  • 10. An order that each party bear their own costs;

  • 11. There be a declaration pursuant to Section 73(b)(i) of the Matrimonial Causes Act Chapter 125.”

3

(3) By Notice of Intention to Proceed with Ancillary Relief filed on 20 May 2014 the respondent applied for the following relief —

1
    That the respondent be granted sole custody of the minor child of the family with reasonable access to the petitioner; 2. That the petitioner contributes $500.00 monthly towards the maintenance of the said children of the family; 3. That the petitioner pays one half of the school fees and other educational expenses for the said children of the family to tertiary level education; 4. That the petitioner pays to the respondent $115.00 monthly towards one half of the amount deducted from her salary in payment of medical insurance for the said children of the family; 5. That the petitioner continues to pay the dental insurance for the said children of the family; and that the respondent be provided with proof of payment of such insurance. 6. That the petitioner signs off on the 2005 Chevy Trailblazer, the property of the respondent' 7. That the petitioner signs the necessary Insurance forms to remove himself as beneficiary of Insurance Policy N1006299 held with Colina Insurance Limited; 8. That the petitioner returns the respondents engagement ring and wedding band; 9. That he petitioner pays to the respondent one half of the value of H. G. Investments Company Limited; 10. That the petitioner pays to the respondent one half of the value of the triplex apartment situate on Lot 17 in Golden Gates Addition Two in the Western District of the island of New Providence; 11. That the petitioner pays to the respondent one half value of the matrimonial home situate Lot 1088, Pinewood Gardens Subdivision in the Southern district of the Island of New Providence; 12. That the petitioner releases and indemnified the respondent from the existing mortgage over the matrimonial home held by Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited; 13. That the petitioner pays the respondents costs of these proceedings; 14. That there be a Declaration pursuant to Section 73(1)(b)(i) of the Matrimonial Causes Act Chapter 125 of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
4

(4) By a Consent Order made on 1 September 2014 and filed on 24 November 2014 it was ordered —

  • “1. The petitioner and the respondent shall have joint custody of the minor child of the marriage namely ALSG born on the 2nd March 1998 with care and control to the respondent with liberal access to the petitioner as follows —

    • i. Every other weekend the petitioner shall collect the child from school on Friday and return the child to school on Monday with effect from Friday September 5, 2014;

    • ii. The petitioner and the respondent shall share all school holidays, Easter, summer and Christmas. In 2014 the petitioner shall have the child on Christmas Day. The respondent shall have the child on Boxing Day 2014 and New Year's Day 2015 and this shall alternate between the petitioner and the respondent in subsequent years;

    • iii. The petitioner and the respondent shall share equally on all public holidays and school midterm holidays;

    • iv. The petitioner shall have the child on Father's Day and the respondent shall have the child on Mother's Day;

    • v. The petitioner shall have the child on her birthday in the year 2015.

  • 2. The petitioner and the respondent shall each have an opportunity to take the child on vacation. The petitioner shall pay all expenses when he takes the child on vacation and the respondent shall pay all expenses when she takes the child on vacation. If the child is taken out of the jurisdiction the petitioner and the respondent shall advise each other of the itinerary and telephone contacts at least 2 weeks before travel. The respondent shall release the Passport to the petitioner for travel and the petitioner shall return the passport to the respondent within 5 days of return.

  • 3. The petitioner and the respondent shall advise one another when the child is traveling within The Bahamas;

  • 4. The petitioner and the respondent shall share equally all school fees for the minor child of the marriage until she completes secondary education. The petitioner shall pay for books and the respondent shall pay for school supplies and school uniforms. The petitioner and the respondent shall share equally all extracurricular activities for the minor child;

  • 5. The petitioner and respondent shall share equally all costs for tertiary education for the child of the marriage to include tuition, books and lodging, travel costs, clothing and allowance. The petitioner and the respondent shall consult with respect to choice of school, to continue until the child completes tertiary education or a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 6. The respondent shall keep the minor child covered under her medical group insurance. The petitioner shall share equally all medical, optical and dental expenses for the minor child not covered by the respondent's insurance until the child completes tertiary education or a Bachelor's degree.

  • 7. The petitioner and respondent shall share equally the cost of clothing for the minor child of the marriage until she completes secondary education;

MAINTENANCE
  • 8. The petitioner shall continue to pay $250.00 per month towards the maintenance of the minor child of the marriage, payments to continue until July 31, 2015 when the child completes secondary education.

  • 9.

  • 10.

  • 11.

  • AND IT IS DECLARED that there is one child of the marriage to whom section 73 of the Matrimonial Causes Act applies namely ALSG born on the 2nd March 1998 and that arrangements have been made for the welfare of the child and that these arrangements are satisfactory.”

5

(5) A certificate of making the Decree Nisi Absolute was filed on 31 December 2014.

6

(6) By Summons filed 13 November 2015 the respondent made application for a variation of the order for maintenance of the child. By Order made 17 December 2015 and filed on 17 February 2016, the Order made 1 September 2014 and filed on 24 November 2014 was varied to the extent that the petitioner shall pay to the respondent —

  • “(i) $250.00 per month towards the maintenance of the minor child of the marriage namely ALSG born the 2nd March 1998, the first payment shall be made on the 29th day of January 2016 and shall continue on the 28th day of each succeeding month until the child ALSG has completed her tertiary education; and

  • (ii) $300.00 twice per annum towards defraying the cost of clothing for the child ALSG, such payment shall commence on 15th August 2016 and shall continue on the 15th day of each succeeding December and August thereafter until the child ALSG has completed her tertiary education.

    • 2. The petitioner shall pay to the respondent $250.00 on or before the 1st day of January 2016 such sum representing arrears of tuition fees for the child ALSG for which the petitioner is responsible.

    • 3. The money shall be paid to the respondent's bank account 7033242928 at Commonwealth Bank, full...

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