MONTREAL – The ex-wife of a Quebec-based property developer has been awarded $95,000 in monthly alimony in what her lawyers are calling one of the largest divorce settlements in the province’s history.
Of that amount, $75,000 is intended for her needs, while $20,000 is destined for the couple’s two children, aged 15 and 20.
The total sum equals more than $1.1 million a year — one of the highest ever awarded in the province, according to her lawyers Gayrard Avocats.
She also has access to a swanky home and several luxury vehicles.
The French-born man and the Moroccan woman met in Paris in 1990 and married in 2004, according to recently released court documents.
Their relationship began to deteriorate in 2014, shortly after they’d relocated to Quebec.
In Quebec, “the parties acquired several buildings, including an opulent residence… at a cost of $6,475,000,” according to the April 5 decision.
The ex-wife, who says her family’s lifestyle costs between $8 million and $10 million per year, asked for substantial child support as well as $150,000 per month for herself, $10 million in expenses and reimbursement for several costs.
A court-appointed expert concluded the couple’s lifestyle amounted to between $5 million and $8 million annually.
The woman told Superior Court Justice Carole Hallee the couple and their children always bought themselves “the best there was of everything.”
According to the court documents, the woman said her ex “was generous and always paid all the family expenses and she never contributed.”
The man, for his part, contested his ex-wife’s right to alimony, “declaring to have been very generous with her, having given her buildings and financial investments over the years.”
He claimed the sums she requested were “disproportionate and unreasonable” and said he didn’t have the ability to pay them.
In court, the woman testified to the couple’s sumptuous lifestyle, which included a full-time, live-in governess and housekeeper.
The couple had a total of 10 domestic employees, including a handyman, four women to clean on a daily basis, two to do laundry and a cook.
Among their expenses, she noted that a florist came every week to add 200 roses to each of the property’s 15 vases.
The couple also took luxury vacations, including a months-long trip to Dubai.
During his testimony last November, the property developer confirmed the purchase of roses as well as the trips.
He added that his ex-spouse spent copiously on these vacations, to the point where she returned each year with some 20 suitcases filled with clothes, shoes and jewelry for herself and the children. He said the gains he made as a Dubai-based stockbroker at that time exceeded the family’s expenses.
The court rejected the man’s claim that his ex-wife “created this lifestyle in anticipation of the breakup.”
“(The husband) doesn’t accept the breakup, he feels betrayed,” the decision read. “He especially doesn’t accept having to give money to (his ex-wife). He’ll never accept it.”
“He even exclaimed in court, ‘What is this justice in Quebec!'” according to the decision.