McCain vs. Melanson: Divorce vs. Annulment

Family Law Services

There could be some major financial implications if Eleanor McCain’s marriage annulment gets granted by Toronto courts. The frozen food heiress is attempting to prove marriage fraud with the help of her lawyer, stating that she was bamboozled into saying vows to her current husband, the notable Jeff Melanson of the CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Claiming that Melanson carefully withheld his true nature, McCain seeks to annul the marriage in an effort to protect the fortune she amassed as a professional singer and child of the late Wallace McCain who co-founded McCain Foods Limited. According to court documents, Melanson is asking for more than $5 million in funds he feels entitled to.

Because of a questionable prenuptial agreement that was put in effect back in April of 2014, the couple and their lawyers are fighting a difficult battle. While Melanson believes he should also be privy to property value increases on the marital home, McCain further argues that the marriage was extremely brief. In fact, the union came to a crashing halt in January of 2015, just nine months after it started.

According to her own statements, McCain alleges she was betrothed until false pretenses and thus the brevity and tumultuousness of the marriage was a direct result. She went on to explain to the courts how she believes Melanson married her for financial gain, especially since he was facing worrisome administrative drama and countless harassment charges during his time at the Banff Centre. His immediate acceptance of a new job at the TSO shortly after the wedding is being cited as evidence to support McCain’s assumption.

McCain’s desire for an annulment is likely due to fact that annulments are much more cut-and-dry than traditional divorce proceedings. Regulated by stricter and more defined statutes, annulments are typically granted to couples only when it’s proven that the capacity to marry was inadequate.

This could include things like:

Certain factors contribute to the validity of any court decree, including marriage. As such, the couple’s assets are not picked apart as fervently, if at all, when the union is annulled. For McCain to succeed at doing that, she will have to prove to the courts that her betrothed had committed a fraudulent act.

Furthermore, McCain’s lawyer is arguing that the fraud originated from there being no free and enlightened consent on the plaintiff’s part. He told local news sources that his client wouldn’t have ever married Melanson had she known his real character. Considering fraud is a form of criminal deception that’s typically used for financial gain, McCain’s soon-to-be ex husband could lose his cash and his freedom if lawyers push the case in that direction.

Fortunately for Melanson, however, his lawyers contend that McCain was a fully competent adult when she said her vows. If McCain gets what she wants, Melanson’s defense will land on deaf ears and he will walk away without a dime. If Melanson gets his way, McCain will be forced to fork over millions for a whirlwind romance with a terrible ending.

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