Millionaire ordered to pay $31,015 a month in temporary child support
John Graham Tait struck gold on Bay Street, but his luck ran out in
The Toronto millionaire has been ordered to pay $31,015 in monthly
support to his five-year-old daughter - the largest temporary child-support
award by a Canadian court.
In making the order, Madam Justice Susan Greer noted that as the
38-year-old man's income "escalated skyward," he stubbornly condemned his
former wife's attempt to secure a generous child-support payment as being
"nothing more than a means of wealth transfer from him to her.
"He does not seem to understand that child support is no such thing," Judge
Greer, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, said in her recent order.
Family law experts have been taken aback by the award. In a commentary in a
legal newsletter, Toronto lawyer Philip Epstein termed it, "rather startling; an
indication that the courts have lost their way with respect to what is
considered to be 'appropriate.' "
In another commentary, Toronto lawyer Jeffery Wilson said that the ruling
enters "the annals of fulsome jurisprudence offered up by wealthy men who leave
the nest when their offspring are very young ... " The extraordinary nature of
the award arose from the fact that Mr. Tait's annual income had rocketed from
$82,452 in 2005 to $3,579,000 in 2006. By 2008, it had reached an estimated
The source of his good fortune were gold mine stock options. A half-million
Gold Eagle Mines Ltd. options Mr. Tait had received from his father, the
one-time president of the company, soared in value after it was taken over by
Mr. Tait quickly developed a taste for gold mining, and plunged into the
business in a big way, and soon became president of WSR Gold, CEO of Vedron
Gold, CEO of Harricana River Mining, and director of VG Gold Corp.
However, when Mr. Tait's ship came in, his wife - Susan Desrochers, a
40-year-old marketing director - was left in his wake. The couple had started
living together in 1998 and were married in 2002.
"It is the wife's position that during the parties' time together - both
before and after their marriage - the husband's income was sporadic and often
nominal," Judge Greer said. "She says that she supported the husband both
emotionally and financially throughout their marriage."
Mr. Tait disagreed. "The husband emphatically denies that she helped him
during the marriage, and suggested he get a job bartending when he was not
making much income," Judge Greer noted.
In the first eight months after he left her, Mr. Tait provided just two
child-support payments. Beginning in May, 2005, he hiked his payments to $350
"He continued to pay the $350 per month in 2006, yet his income rose
astronomically to $3,579,000 that year," Judge Greer noted. "In none of these
instances did the husband volunteer to pay child support in accordance with
Child Support Guidelines."
Judge Greer noted that Ms. Desrochers felt intimidated and threatened by Mr.
Tait's efforts to procure a settlement, and that his lack of candour in
disclosing his true income became "a severe issue."
"It has taken her this long to get the husband to realize that his failure to
comply with his legal obligation continued to create hardship for her and their
daughter over the past 4½ years," Judge Greer said.
"The husband says he does not oppose any retroactivity award for child
support, since he now admits he did underpay in the past and now realizes the
error of his ways."
Commentary by the Ottawa Men's Centre
Notice the Globe did not allow comments?
More and more articles in the Globe are apparently "off topic" and unsuitable
for comments. Here is our commentary that was not published in the Globe.
Fact is, Mr. Tait admission speaks volumes, he earned the income and failed
to pay the support, not only failed to pay the support but failed to reveal the
increase in income. Unfortunately, that was probably the only relevent
information the judge had to consider.
Across Ontario, there are another group of "alleged millionairs", except they
are not, in most cases, the assets were destroyed shortly after separation, or
the share values went from a million dollars to a small fraction of that amount
which were handed by the courts to the ex wife, while at the same time, the
courts "imputed income" from an income that the father is demanded that he must
receive from those shares at their predivorce value when in fact, they are all
gone in the property settlement.
The same fathers often during their marriage were full time fathers while
their wives earned high incomes.
Check out the blog by Peter Roscoe