Ottawa family wants $500,000 ‘dowry’ back after young couple splits
A young female exchange student from Iran met a handsome Canadian man who came from a well-off Iranian family in Ottawa.
The two met at Carleton University and soon fell in love. They decided over a year later it was time for them to tie the not in an extravagant ceremony in Toronto.
Keeping with Iranian tradition, the groom’s family gave the bride half ownership of a $1-million Ottawa home. However, that “dowry” has now become the source of a bitter dispute between the now-separated couple and their families.
An Ottawa judge last week dismissed the husband’s family’s claims for an order that the bride, 23-year-old Shakiba Banifatemi, return her half of a $1-million dowry to her ex-husband’s family, repay the cost of the wedding, and return all of her gifts.
According to the judge’s ruling documents, the Abdollahpours alleged Banifatemi “acted fraudulently by tricking” them into gifting her partial ownership of the home and having their son sponsor her for permanent residency.
Justice Robert Smith rules that the evidence presented in court did not support the allegations.
“The gift was made without any expectation of remuneration but with the expectation that Shakiba would marry Ahmad, which occurred,” he said. “The parties entered into a valid marriage, which was consummated, and they lived together as man and wife for approximately one year and a half.”
Smith added that Banifatemi’s older brother, Shahab, lives in Ottawa and could have sponsored her for permanent residency.
Do you think the former bride should return her half of the $1-million dowry to her ex-husband’s family, repay the cost of the wedding, and return all of her gifts? Did the judge make the right call?