In Canada, the ex-wife of Michael McCain, president of Maple Leaf Foods, has been awarded $175,000 a month in spousal support. In addition to the monthly support, Christine McCain was also given $2 million in retroactive support and Mr. McCain must make mortgage payments on the two cottages and a family home registered in Mrs. McCain’s name. The couple was married in 1981 and separated in 2011 after being married for 30 years and raising a family together.
“As far as I know, it is by far the highest support order that has been made in Canada,” said Harold Niman, Mrs. McCain’s lawyer.
The McCain’s were both used to an extremely high standard of living. “There were memberships in three private clubs, private schools for all of their five children, extravagant entertaining—both personally and through business—with the very finest foods and wines available,” said Judge Greer.
One thing that played a big role in the Ontario judge’s decision was the fact that Mrs. McCain’s father-in-law threatened to disinherit his five children back in 1996 unless all of their spouses signed contracts limiting what they could obtain from family inheritances. The contract forced Mrs. McCain to waive claim to future spousal support or equalization of family property. In return, if the marriage dissolved, she was supposed to receive a lump sum of about $7 million and a title to the family home. The judge concluded that Mrs. McCain had no realistic option at the time but to sign an unfair contract.