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Porter Ramsay Blog

Family law: Difficult to split illegal proceeds in divorce case

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2018 | Family Law |

A couple who made a living growing marijuana illegally for 20 years has split up. British Columbia has definitive family law rules, but how does dividing the profits from an illegal grow-op figure into a divorce situation? The two, who were married for 30 years, tried to share the assets, but since most of the transactions were completed using cash and scant records were kept, the court deemed their evidence of income was thin, often contradictory and lacking in credibility.

The pair ran grow ops in British Columbia, California and Mexico. They started their first grow-op in 1987. Both agreed to the divorce and not to contact each other, but they couldn’t come to terms on spousal support and property division. They also own a home in Grand Forks, British Columbia, and if the woman wishes to stay in the home, her former husband would transfer his share to her. If she chooses not to stay in the home, it is to be sold and profits split between the two.

The woman told the judge her husband would give her between $60,000 and $80,000 of cash in a bag every year to run the family home. He claims, however, that it would only be about $20,000. The judge said evidence was inconsistent. The judge did order the man to pay his former wife spousal support of  $134,694. They were ordered to split the proceeds of the sale of their home in Mexico as well as a property in Calgary.

Divorce can come with some strange circumstances. No two couples are alike. However, there are legalities that come into play no matter what. A British Columbia lawyer experienced in family law can negotiate on his or her client’s behalf. He or she may also be able to point out different options available to clients.