Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, June 29, 2015

Children of Marriage Breakdown

"This is one of the worst. On the scale of deadbeats it's probably the worst deadbeat that I could imagine in any family law case."
"Tens of millions of dollars have disappeared. He [Vrege Armoyan] is not living in a cave. ... My client can't afford groceries She can't afford to fly here for this hearing."
"Mr. Armoyan is many things, but one thing he is not is stupid. He knows exactly what he is doing."
"Not one case in Canada matches this case. Not one. This is the worst possible contempt. He is thumbing his nose at the court process."
Harold Niman, Toronto family lawyer

"We're thinking of framing Lisa's story as an illustration of how the growing problem of deadbeat dads can affect families in every socio-economic strata."
"During their 16-year marriage, Lisa's standard of living was substantial, including ownership of boats, a variety of luxury automobiles, at their palatial residences in the U.S. and Canada, with millions of dollars at their disposal, and lived the life of extremely high income earners." 
Lisa Armoyan.  (PRNewsFoto/TransMedia Group)
Lisa Armoyan. (PRNewsFoto/TransMedia Group)
"Lisa is not only beautiful, but highly educated, a talented fitness model and trainer. She has developed through education, training and personal experience a high sense of wellness, regardless of life's stressors."
"Our goal is to see that Lisa achieves the same standard of living that she had during her 16 years of marriage to prominent Halifax developer husband and Armco Capital Founder Vrege Armoyan, who according to court records, has been so exasperatingly elusive and difficult to pin down during their high-profile cross-border legal battle."
TransMedia Group CEO Tom Madden
Beauty is as beauty does. This beauty happened to have married herself to a man whose conscience is somewhat lacking, and now she is paying the consequences. The couple separated and the husband, a Nova Scotia real estate businessman and developer, withheld court-ordered child and spouse support. Certainly not because, like many men he struggled financially and was unable to meet his obligations. This man, Vrege Armoyan, chose to flee Canada for an unknown destination.

Correction: not completely unknown; the Syrian-born man is somewhere in the Middle East where his wealth ensures he will live well, and where the cross-border attempts between Canada and the United States to achieve justice in spouse and child support for his ex-wife and his three children cannot reach. The man signed over legal rights to grant sole custody of their three children to his wife. Having done which, he has also obviously decided to wash his hands of financial responsibility for their well-being.

The Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida, found that during their marriage the Armoyans accumulated a net worth in excess of $50 million. Mr. Armoyan was given ten days by a Florida family court in 2012 to pay support he had withheld for three years. Following the 2009 dissolution of the marriage, the man appears to have attempted to hide his holdings in an effort to avoid paying support for his children, aged 20, 18 and 15.

Nova Scotia Family Court Judge Therese Forgeron said from the Halifax courthouse that his "defiance spanned many years", leading to the situation at present where he owes a "shameful amount of arrears. His children struggle to survive while Mr. Armoyan has millions", commented the justice, and she sentenced him to four years in prison and levied a fine of $384,000 for having fled the country in his support avoidance scheme.

Dozens of court appearances between the once-married couple were made in Canada and Florida with Armoyan ordered to pay $29,000 a month in child and spousal support in 2012. The full amount was never forthcoming. Leaving a total arrears outstanding of $1,714,684.00. An additional $1-million is owing in court costs. He had been sentenced to 60 days in jail when a Florida court sentenced him for failing to obey a court order on support.

Armoyan sold his luxury yacht in Lebanon in 2013, placed his Lamborghini on sale for $105,000 and a Corvette for $62,000, while receiving a $2-million tax-free capital dividend and over $1-million from his mother. Found guilty of contempt of court last month, Friday he was meant to attend court for a sentencing hearing. Shortly after the scheduled time when the hearing was to commence it became clear the man was not in attendance.

He will, however, be arrested if and when he returns to Canada and will have to serve the four-year sentence imposed by the court though should he pay the fine and the arrears of spousal and child support he would be released from prison. Doubtless he has managed to dissolve his Canadian holdings, or accepted a buy-out from his brother with whom he has partnered in the various businesses that have made him so wealthy, requiring no return to wrap up his business interests.

The issue of child support in separations and divorces is a real and problematical one. In both Canada and the United States women and children are often left to fend for themselves when their former husbands and fathers of their children refuse to pay the financial costs of raising children as they are morally and legally obligated to do. Most women and children don't come from well-off backgrounds like Lisa Armoyan and her children.

However, married to a wealthy businessman whom her efforts on different levels helped in part in his achieving success should have garnered her the financial consideration she is entitled to, had her ex-husband been a responsible individual expressing goodwill and a natural paternal affection for his offspring.

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