He sponsored her to move to Canada from China. Then demanded spousal support from her.

Vancouver Law Courts

If you sponsor your spouse to move to Canada, does your spouse owe you spousal support? That was a topic recently resolved at the BC Supreme Court.

When Vivian Guo moved to Burnaby, British Columbia, she got a little more than she bargained for. Recently divorced she moved to Canada to seek a better life for her and her 16 year old son who has autism, according to the judgement[1]He v Guo, 2020 BCSC 1632 (CanLII), , retrieved on 2020-11-23.

A few months after moving to Canada she met Benjamin He online. About a month after starting to talk online, they met in person. Approximately 10 days after their first meeting, he moved into her Meadowdale Drive where they lived together for approximately 37 months in a marriage like relationship.

During this time, Mr. He claims he spent around $10,000 dollars worth on setting up rental units within the estate. In their time together, the value of the property inflated by roughly $360,000.
On March 25,2018 the couple separated.

Soon after the separation, Mr. He filed a claim against Ms. Guo. His claim was for sixty percent of the increase in property value which was a total of $216,000. He also tried to claim spousal support, a portion of the gross income generated by the rental units over their time together, and interest in her personal and real property in Canada and in China.

The judge quickly denied Mr. He’s claims on the basis that their relationship was relatively short at just 37 months. He claims that he spent $200,000 on maintaining the relationship in costs towards obtaining her permanent residency. However, in the time they were together, Mr. He only made a total net income of around $65,000 and with this money he was to pay spousal and child support to his previous marriage. There is no proof of any other money coming in, so there is no way he paid $200,000 towards relationship maintenance.

“The claimant’s sponsorship of the respondent and her son for immigration purposes arose in the course of the relationship,” the judgement read. “I find that the respondent’s and her son’s immigration status in Canada were favourably affected.”

“However, rewarding the claimant by way of spousal support would, as a matter of policy, encourage avarice rather than relationships of love and support both to the detriment of families and our Country’s immigration system,” the judge ruled.

The $10,000 he says he spent towards construction of the rental units was denied based on the fact that she would have contributed significantly more.

Mr. He also attempted to go after property he claimed she owned in China, but there were no records of her owning such property. Same went for $500,000 in hidden savings and a $29,000 RRSP.

Her counterclaim for spousal support of $1000 per month for 12 months was granted to help promote her economic sufficiency after the court for the immigration fraud report baseless.

The courts dismissed all other claims.

[Photo by Jeff Hitchcock/Flickr]

References   [ + ]

1. He v Guo, 2020 BCSC 1632 (CanLII), , retrieved on 2020-11-23