Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wealthy couple in custody dispute

The wealthy have similar problems with divorce as us average people but the amounts at stake are just obscene. The women involved with this man appear to be gold diggers of the highest order given what they have obtained because of the man's wealth. Perhaps I am jaded after ending up with all my savings gone after my divorce and having to keep the heat off in my house because I don't have enough cash flow to pay all the bills currently. I have 3 blankets and a sleeping bag to keep me warm even when it is 13 Deg. C in the AM. Its a little frosty in the shower but then after an average man goes through family law (FLAW) he either ends up with family jewels made of brass, an angry frustrated dude, in a padded cell, or dead.

Hopefully the cash flow problem will change before all the debtors break down the doors, metaphorically speaking, in a few months when I can get out from under my mortgage. In the meantime I shake my head in wonder at these women who were elevated way too far above their station in life and now demand they stay there cause they have new dreams to fulfill. Can you imagine the expenses they say exist when many of us live on less than $3,000.00 a month and child support comes off that. The disparities between me and their "wants" are a mathematical progression in distance. Another world is an understatement.

No man should get married with the current state of Family Law (FLAW) but wealthy men ought to be able to deal with this with far greater ease than any one else. For rich men hiring a surrogate to bear their children makes the most sense as they can afford it. When you can easily buy sexual favours why end up paying millions for it and then getting financially raped over and over and then even with a pre-nup, as appears to be the case here, the ex-wife still is not satisfied. Its hard to understand - but then they get to leverage control through the children if they have full physical custody.MJM

Potter’s wife wants daughter to remain in French school

OTTAWA-The estranged wife of prominent Ottawa entrepreneur Michael Potter is taking him to court over custody arrangements for their six-year-old daughter, in part because of a dispute over which private school the child will attend.

Potter’s second wife, Véronique Dhieux, 42, wants the child raised in a French culture and to continue attending Lycée Claudel on Riverside Drive.

She claims in court documents that Potter, 65, wants to move their daughter to an English-language school, Elmwood, where his two children from a previous marriage attend.

Dhieux is also seeking an unspecified amount of child support towards what she claims are her daughter’s $54,100 in monthly expenses.

The case launched in Family Court last month.

In 2001, Potter, the multi-millionaire founder of business software company Cognos, fought a public divorce against his first wife, former Citizen journalist Alana Kainz, with claims for support payments of $10 million and $100,000 monthly. Kainz had previously been married to sportscaster Brian Smith, who was killed by a mentally-ill man in the CTV Ottawa parking lot in 1995.

Dhieux says in court documents she and Potter began dating September 2001, after he separated from Kainz. They started living together in 2002 and married a year later.

The consequences of Potter’s first marriage strained their relationship, Dhieux says, and they began trial separations in 2008. Despite attempts to reconcile, they abandoned efforts to save the marriage in June, she says in court documents.

The couple has joint custody of their daughter, but Dhieux wants a court to alter their shared-parenting agreement. She says Potter is too busy with business and other duties to devote enough time to looking after their daughter.

Dhieux wants the girl to live with her full-time, with Potter given time on alternate weekends and half of vacations.

Much of Potter’s time is taken up with managing his investments, board and charity work and by his vintage airplanes and his $20-million yacht, Dhieux claims, and he is “consumed with the issues involving the divorce from his ex-wife.”

Though Potter and Kainz settled their dispute in 2002, they returned to court several times over custody issues and allegations of Kainz’s drinking.

“Our family life was very much occupied with the dispute,” Dhieux says in her court application.

Dhieux alleges the nanny Potter employs is the primary caregiver when the child stays at his home on Soper Place in Rockcliffe.

“Looking after her was to be his primary occupation, as it is mine when she is with me,” she claims. “She was not to be turned over to the care of paid employees, such as a nanny or other member of his staff. I would never have agreed to the arrangement on any other basis.” The nanny, Dhieux alleges, “is rude to me to the point of overt hostility,” which embarrasses and confuses the child.

Potter has not yet filed a response to Dhieux’s allegations. None of her allegations have been proved in court.

Through his lawyer, Potter released a statement on Monday: “A joint parenting agreement regarding our six-year-old daughter is in place and is being honoured by me. I intend to continue to focus my efforts on ensuring (our daughter) and her two sisters receive my full care and attention. I will be filing my response in the court proceedings.”

Dhieux says Potter had agreed they would reinforce the child’s French-language identity and foster her connection to French culture. They travelled to France for the birth so the girl would have dual French-Canadian citizenship. They also bought a $4-million Paris apartment they visited six times a year, Dhieux says.

Lycée Claudel has an excellent international reputation and, when the girl is older, she will be able to enrol in its international baccalaureate program, opening up opportunities to study in France or other francophone countries, Dhieux says.

However, with two English-speaking half-sisters and care-givers, Dhieux says she fears the girl is already so surrounded by English that her French is suffering.

She claims Potter wants the child to transfer to Elmwood so she’ll be on the same vacation schedule as her older sisters, aged 13 and 11.

Dhieux, born and raised in France, immigrated to Canada in 1994 and worked at the National Arts Centre before meeting Potter. Though she has not worked since 2002, she has assets and investments worth $6.7 million, according to a financial statement filed into the court record. She owns a 2009 Audi Q7 and has entered into an agreement to buy a home on Lansdowne Road North in Rockcliffe for $2.5 million.

She claims monthly expenses of $85,635, with $6,000 a month for clothing, $35,500 monthly for vacations with the child, another $3,200 for vacations without the child, and $6,357 in financial assistance to her parents. For the child, Dhieux also claims monthly expenses of $3,000 for clothing and $585 for pet costs. She claims total monthly child-care expenses of $54,100.

The spousal support Potter will pay was set in a marriage contract signed in 2004, Dhieux says, but they have not yet resolved the issue of child support.

Dhieux says the child should have a standard of living comparable to that she enjoyed before her parents split up.

Their lifestyle had included “a large amount of discretionary spending,” she says, with Potter flying the kids on vacations aboard a private jet.

She describes in detail a private yacht Potter purchased in 2008 for more than $20 million U.S. The 193-foot Seawolf sleeps 12 and has a crew of 15. It’s equipped with a swimming pool, jet skis, kayaks and other recreational equipment.

The yacht is chartered out at $183,000 U.S. per week, but is at Potter’s disposal, Dhieux says. He flies the children to wherever the yacht happens to be and plans to take the girls on trips to the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific in coming months, she says.

At the same time, Dhieux claims she cannot use the apartment in Paris unless Potter agrees. She says she needs to be able to travel to Paris frequently to allow the child to visit her grandparents and aunt and to “foster awareness of her French roots and French culture.”

She does not request a specific amount of child support because Potter has yet to file a financial statement. Potter “is one of the wealthiest individuals in Canada,” she notes.

“Regardless of the exact amount, there is no question but that he has the ability to pay whatever child support is found to be appropriate in the circumstances.”

Wealthy couple in custody dispute

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