Vancouver Interim Distribution – preventing the wife from using family assets to pay for her legal fees.

Leena Yousefi, voted the top family lawyer in BC, was recently successful in preventing the wife from obtaining $80,000 from the family assets to pay for her legal fees. As a Vancouver property division lawyer, Leena knows that preservation of assets is the most important task to maintain during family litigation as people may spend money out of vengeance, steal money or dissipate with money.

The Story:

The wife had over a million dollars of assets overseas which she had obtained by way of inheritance. She was about 15 years younger than the husband and was brought to Canada by the husband by way of spousal sponsorship. In Canada, she did not have any assets and worked minimum wage. However, her properties in Iran which were worth over 1 millions dollars were generating income for her which she would not declare in Canada.

The husband is 63 years old and all his savings and assets consisted of a townhouse which he had sold and the net sale proceeds were being held in Leena’s trust account and in the amount of approximately $200,000.

The wife applied to obtain $80,000 from the cash in the trust account to pay for her legal fees and ensure she has a lawyer for trial. The husband had already obtained $80,000 from the trust account to pay for his living expenses and legal fees.

Vancouver Property Division Lawyer Argued Why This Was Unfair

The wife argued that since the husband obtained $80,000, so could she. However, Leena Yousefi argued that this was unfair and prejudicial to the husband. In this scenario, the wife would keep all of her assets in Iran which were over 1 million dollars and then take $80,000 from the husband to pay for her legal fees. The wife already said she could not sell her assets in Iran to pay for her legal fees.

Leena argued that since she cannot sell her assets in Iran, she will never be able to pay back the husband the $80,000 as she was working minimum wage and had already admitted she can’t sell her assets – if she obtained the $80,000, she would defeat the husband’s claim to the full $200,000 because the husband was saying he is entitled to the full amount for trial purposes.

In that scenario, the wife would essentially keep $1,080,000 and the husband would only keep $120,000. This was no level playing field. Leena argued the the wife is simply trying to take the husband’s money by making excuses and making sure she takes as much as she can and does not give back a penny.

The Result

The judge dismissed the wife’s application stating that the wife could never pay the husband this money back if the husband succeeded at trial in proving that he is entitled to the full $200,000. The judge also found the wife dishonest and untruthful in some of her statements. The judge fined the wife an additional (approximately) $2,500 for wasting the court’s time.

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