High asset divorce leaves husband struggling to pay legal bills

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in High Asset Divorce on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Any divorce has the potential to spiral out of control if either or both parties aren’t interested in being cooperative. In the case of a high asset divorce, however, there sometimes seems to be no limit to the potential length of the proceedings. A prime example of this comes from an ongoing separation struggle east of Alberta involving two high profile individuals.

In March 2016, former Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO and president, Jeff Melanson, and his wife, Elanor McCain, began legal proceedings to annul their marriage and a prenuptial agreement. At the time, Melanson also chose to step down from his position. Nearly a year later, the issue remains unsettled.

Melanson claimed in a Nov. 2016 filing that he is no longer able to afford legal proceedings, having spent $200,000 as of that time fighting his spouse in court. He requested that she now fund his end of the battle or else he would be forced to withdraw. Doing so would deny him, “access to justice.” McCain’s lawyers countered his claim, saying the Orchestra paid him $420,000 in severance and suggested he had been travelling extensively throughout Mexico, Canada, and the United States since the summer of 2016.

As with any case, a high asset divorce can turn into a high conflict divorce before long. It is an unfortunate way to spend time and money when most people would prefer to simply move on with their lives. For those Alberta men and women who wish to separate more amicably, a family law firm that has experience with alternative dispute resolution can help move things along expediently and with a minimum of conflict. Unfortunately, not every couple falls into that category. For those men and women who choose to litigate, or who have litigation forced upon them, a dedicated lawyer skilled with divorce law can help with the proceedings.

Source: musicaltoronto.org, “TSO’s Ex-CEO Struggles After Ongoing Negative Media Coverage“, Michael Vincent, Jan. 23, 2017

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