Globe and Mail

Terms of disengagement

Saturday, April 3, 1999
Greg Kershaw
Letter to The Globe and Mail

Toronto -- Supreme Court challenge: A man and a woman start dating. He makes $50,000 a year and she makes $30,000. After a year of dating, they get married. Both continue to work and make the same money as before. After a year of marriage, they divorce. After the divorce, the man continues to make $50,000 a year, the woman $30,000.

First question: How much support does he owe her?

(a) Nothing, because both are making the same amount of money as they did during and before the marriage.

(b) $10,000 a year, because her attributed income during the marriage was $40,000 (half of household income of $80,000) and she will suffer a financial disadvantage as a result of the divorce.

Second question: How long should he have to pay her?

(a) No more than one year, the duration of the marriage.

(b) Indefinitely, if she has a financial need and he can afford to pay.

If you answered (b) to both questions, you may have a chance of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. In order to qualify you must answer a skill-testing question. If the genders in the above-mentioned story were reversed, would the same decision apply? If you answered No, then you qualify for a position on the Supreme Court of Canada. Send your résumé now.

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