B.C. man loses bid for spousal support after falsely reporting former partner for immigration fraud
B.C. Supreme Court judge says it would be wrong to reward man's attempt to have woman deported
A B.C. man has lost his bid for spousal support from a woman he falsely reported to immigration authorities for fraud after the collapse of their relationship.
According to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling, CH wrote a letter titled "Immigration Marriage Fraud Report" on his company's letterhead within months of splitting up with XG.
CH had previously sponsored XG and her son for permanent resident status. But as their marriage-like relationship broke down, the investment advisor accused XG of beating him, threatening a witness and "dating with some men for money."
In the ensuing court battle between the couple, CH then sought $1,500 a month from XG along with $216,000 for what he claimed should be his share of the appreciation in her house's value during the length of their relationship.
Justice Gordon Funt said CH's claims "of fraud, violence, witness threatening and working in the sex-trade were not shown at trial to be other than baseless assertions."
"An immigrant applying for permanent residency status is vulnerable to threats, intimidation and unfounded accusations," Funt wrote.
"I find [CH's] report to the immigration authorities amid related serious allegations were maliciously made by him."
'Actually, to be honest My Lord ...'
According to the ruling, CH and XG were both divorced when they met online in October 2014. CH had separated from his former spouse a month earlier.
XG moved from China to Canada with her 16-year-old son the previous January and bought a home worth $1.7 million in Burnaby two months before she met CH.
The couple met face-to-face for the first time on Nov. 17, 2014. They began living together in XG's home 10 days later.
A little more than three years later, the couple separated and the legal battle for spousal support began. CH asked for $1,500 a month and half the money the pair made from renting out a basement suite.
XG counterclaimed with a request for $12,000 — $1,000 a month for 12 months.
According to Funt's ruling, CH told the court, " 'Actually, to be honest My Lord, I only raised' spousal support because [XG] was seeking spousal support."
An intimidating hyperlink
CH claimed XG "used" him to obtain permanent residency in Canada, but Funt rejected that assertion. XG presented medical reports which confirmed that the pair had consulted fertility clinics in order to bolster her claim that she had wanted to have a child with CH.
According to the ruling, CH sent an email to XG in March 2018 containing a "draft" separation agreement seeking $150,000.
The email included a hyperlink to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Given that CH reported XG to immigration authorities two weeks later, Funt agreed with XG's lawyer that the hyperlink was an "obvious attempt to intimidate" XG into agreeing to a deal that would give CH $150,000 and absolve him of any responsibility for her or her son.
In response to CH's claims, XG also sought an interest in properties she claimed CH owns in both Canada and China. She also argued that she should be able to keep all the appreciation in value from the home she owned before the couple met.
Threat to immigration status constitutes 'family violence'
In deciding the case, Funt said there was little evidence of any property in China beyond some possible furnishings in an apartment in Wuhan.
But he said it would be "unfair" to essentially condone CH's false report to immigration authorities by giving him the spousal support he was seeking.
Funt noted that CH was trying to hurt his ex-partner financially by having her removed from the country while seeking an economic benefit for himself.
"By filing the false immigration marriage fraud report, [CH] has deliberately attempted to cause financial harm [to XG] and emotional harm to her son," the judge wrote.
"[CH] seeks a monetary award related to property division while maliciously trying to harm [XG] financially."
Funt also found that CH's threats to XG's immigration status constituted "family violence" under the Family Law Act.
He dismissed CH's claims and awarded XG the $12,000 she was seeking. She also gets to keep the entire amount that her house appreciated.