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Uber-rich West Vancouver couple's court fight offers glimpse into lavish one-percenter lifestyles

Couple’s expenses included Learjet flights, travel to five-star tropical resorts, rotating nannies, a driver and personal assistant
A West Vancouver couple's court fight over support payments has offered a glimpse into their lavish lifestyle.

She won’t have to sell the island cottage or the $1.5 million yacht, bought when she feared they’d need to escape West Vancouver during the pandemic. He’ll pay the mortgage on two West Vancouver homes in the most exclusive neighbourhoods plus two downtown condos. He’ll pay for private school tuition, their child’s club membership and $15,000 a month in child support – but not the costs of taking nannies on vacations.

He’ll also pay $50,000 a month to his ex-wife – at least until their financially messy divorce can be sorted out by the courts.

A recent “interim order” untangling the finances of a high-rolling West Vancouver couple has offered a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the one-percenters, as the uber wealthy couple argued in court over what kind of lifestyle each should be entitled to following their split.

According to a written decision handed down in B.C. Supreme Court Aug. 24, the couple – who were married for four years – enjoyed a luxurious standard of living before their split, supported by the husband’s annual net income of more than $13 million as an investment executive and assets of $125 million.

For their wedding present, he bought her a Porsche 911 convertible. They vacationed at five-star resorts in Maui, the Turks and Caicos and St. Barth’s, in ocean-front rooms that cost $3,000 to $5,000 per night.

According to the wife, they sometimes chartered private planes to their destinations, including booking private Learjet flights to “accommodate travel with dogs” at a cost of $24,000 a pop.

Their household staff included two rotating nannies, a full-time cleaner, language tutor, part-time driver and a personal assistant.

They hosted parties and events where the price tag clocked in at up $350,000, including catering, entertainment and yacht charters.

They paid for memberships at private health care clinics, plus expenses for personal trainers, masseuses, counsellors and coaches, and dropped up to $15,000 per shopping session on clothes at upscale stores.

“The lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during their relationship is clearly well beyond norm for the vast majority of families. They decided to maintain four residential properties in Vancouver and West Vancouver plus a cottage. They had a household staff. They had multiple cars. They enjoyed frequent luxury travel,” the B.C. Supreme Court master presiding over the decision noted.

Following their split, the husband blamed the escalation of spending on his wife, arguing that it was a primary source of conflict between them. He added that “despite his exceptional income and accumulated wealth, he has always tried to maintain a modest but comfortable lifestyle” telling the court, he “frequently eats at Tim Horton’s and buys clothes from places like Winners.”

In the end, the court considered, but ultimately rejected, an interim child support calculation of more than $103,000 per month, along with $165,000 a month in interim spousal support. The master also rejected requests to pay more than $4,000 a month for a full-time cleaner and $2,000 for a language tutor for their pre-school-aged child.

“I agree it is appropriate to take into consideration that the parties had a privileged lifestyle. I do not agree that it is necessary or appropriate to base the level of support on [the wife] maintaining the most extravagant budget,” the master wrote, noting food expenses of $6,000 per month and $2,000 per month for furnishings “all appear excessive.”

The master noted a final decision on support payments wouldn’t be made until terms of the divorce are settled.

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