KAB v RMB, 2022 ABQB 542


10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

This costs decision arises following a family law Trial in which the Father was granted primary care of the children as well as sole decision-making responsibility, despite unfounded allegations by the Mother that he had sexually and physically abused the children. The Court also suspended any and all parenting time or contact of the Mother until a Psychological Report was received by the Court detailing the Mother’s successful completion of mental health interventions.

The Father sought solicitor-client costs of the Action. The Father argued that the Mother must be accountable for her actions and intentionally misleading and lying to the Court, the police, Child and Family Services, and the Court-appointed Parenting Expert.

In accordance with Rule 10.33, the Court noted that costs are discretionary and found that the Father was successful on the primary issues in dispute, being parenting and the enforceability of a Post-Nuptial Agreement, while there was mixed success on a number of secondary issues. The Court noted that while the trial was lengthy and the litigation highly conflictual, the matters themselves were not all that complex. Neither party engaged in conduct that intended to shorten the action, however, the Mother’s actions lengthened the Action. Ultimately, bearing in mind the Mother’s litigation behavior was not motivated by malice, but rather came from a place of mental illness, the Court awarded Costs to the Father of $75,000.00, including disbursements.

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