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Common Law Issues The law regarding common law relationships is different than in cases of divorce. Discuss the issues that affect unmarried couples here.

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Old 11-21-2017, 11:30 AM
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Default What are my chances to reduce my arrears?

Now 10 years since I left her. Messy, messy, messy.... I had agreed to pay $700 per month as per guidelines for my 2 children and even agreed to pay an extra $500 per month for extra expenses. However, most of that was spent on a fancy lawyer.

I had no problems making my payments for the first 5 years, but the false allegations against me & my family and lack of visitation aggravated my anxiety tovthe point where I could no longer work. I held low paying jobs off & on. All of this to say that I suddenly found myself owing her a LOT!

Flash forward to recent events. She has taken our children and moved 6 hours away without telling me, her lawyer or the OCL. Her lawyer no longer represents her. I have tried contacting her once a week in the past month but she never answers.

Here are the changes I'd like to make: since my eldest daughter has turned 18, I should no longer no paying support. I requested proof of enrollment, but never received a reply. The FRO is telling me that the only way to change the payment is to proceed with a Motion to Change Order. The thought of going back to court is killing me.

I know that I can have my support payment reduced, but what are my chances of getting my arrears lowered as well? I'm hoping to have those $500 missed payments removed from the total amount. I'm not even going to argue about the support part of it as I fully intend to pay.

Any advice is always appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:47 AM
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And, if she's in a completely different jurisdiction 6 hours away, does that mean that's where I have to go to file the motion? Even though no one was advised of the move?
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:55 AM
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Family Responsibility Office Forms | Ministry of Community and Social Services

you can get information online

Interjurisdictional Support Orders (apply or change child support)
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:02 PM
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Default What are my chances to reduce my arrears?

You can file in your jurisdiction.

The motion to change is simple and based on fact of your income.

You could argue that your cs has been overpaid based on your income but that may require medical documentation.

Do you have contact information for her? If yes, send her a letter advising she has 7 days to provide you with proof your child is enrolled in school full time.

Start the motion to change forms. The change is your income has changed and child support is lowered, there are no further extraordinary expenses requiring the additional monthly payment, and the child has reached age of majority and no proof of education has been provided. In your affidavit you list your income the last three years and what cs should have been. You request full documentation for education enrollment.

You could outline that the applicant has moved, your relationship with the child(ren) has been terminated and you are no longer earning the amount you were.

Keep it short but get it filed. You could also visit the FLIC office in the courthouse for some help.

You may also want to contact your local family service office to see if they offer counseling. You need to get yourself healthy to go through this process.
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:32 PM
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how old is other child ? Why not bring an immediate motion to remove children to where they live? Failing which, you get sole custody.

As part of that, you can ask to reduce arrears and workout a repayment plan, something like $50/ month on top of regular CS until paid off.

You can also seek to terminate CS if child is adult and not in school.

Speak to a lawyer (free from LSUC referal service) and they have duty counsel at court who would be happy to speak to you too.

Act fast.
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Old 11-21-2017, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunnelight View Post
how old is other child ? Why not bring an immediate motion to remove children to where they live? Failing which, you get sole custody.

As part of that, you can ask to reduce arrears and workout a repayment plan, something like $50/ month on top of regular CS until paid off.

You can also seek to terminate CS if child is adult and not in school.

Speak to a lawyer (free from LSUC referal service) and they have duty counsel at court who would be happy to speak to you too.

Act fast.
best not to give false hope without ages etc of the kids,how long ago the move was etc. You cannot say that he would get sole custody with any amount of certainty based on what information was given.
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:54 PM
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People are put in jail for not paying child support. Opting to pay for a lawyer instead of paying child support isn't going to make you look very good.

Gather your documentation together (proof of income, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements over past 5 years... even 7 years) and get some form of legal advice (if you are not working you would qualify for legal aid would you not?) or at least you would get a deep discount.

Have you been hounded by a maintenance enforcement agency?

People (particularly men) are afraid of FRO/MEP when really they are the people who are more likely to cut you some slack until you get on your feet. Court process can drag on for many months, years... meanwhile arrears keep piling up.

42,000.00 arrears in CS is not a trivial matter (700/month x 5 years).
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:40 AM
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She never tried to take you back to court to make you pay? And your level of anxiety has been for the whole 5 years where you couldn't work? This doesn't make sense to me, how you could get so far behind, and obviously she wasn't desperate for the money.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:06 AM
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You have a lot of issues going on here that should be taken apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart-broken dad View Post
Now 10 years since I left her. Messy, messy, messy.... I had agreed to pay $700 per month as per guidelines for my 2 children and even agreed to pay an extra $500 per month for extra expenses. However, most of that was spent on a fancy lawyer.
You paid for a fancy lawyer? Or you feel your ex spent all the money you paid her on her fancy lawyer? It's actually pretty irrelevant, but I'm commenting only because it highlights how you need to communicate in a less confusing manner so you can get better advice.

Also, did your agreement have the usual clause about adjusting these amounts annually, based on your income fluctuations? Or were you supposed to pay those exact amounts forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart-broken dad View Post
I had no problems making my payments for the first 5 years, but the false allegations against me & my family and lack of visitation aggravated my anxiety tovthe point where I could no longer work. I held low paying jobs off & on. All of this to say that I suddenly found myself owing her a LOT!
Did you take any action to have your CS changed to follow your income change, and modify the s7 extra expenses amount at that time? Why not, or what happened? It looks like your first mistake happened five years ago, and has been compounding ever since, making it much harder to correct now.

Do you have any medical documentation about your inability to maintain your previous income level?

You've been accumulating unnecessary arrears for years now, and it may be too late to recoup them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart-broken dad View Post
Flash forward to recent events. She has taken our children and moved 6 hours away without telling me, her lawyer or the OCL. Her lawyer no longer represents her. I have tried contacting her once a week in the past month but she never answers.
How long ago was this? Did you fight it at the time? If little time has elapsed, start fighting it NOW. What does your agreement say about mobility? Is she allowed to move away without notice? Probably not. Fight to get the children moved back to their normal area of residence TODAY. If you don't put up a fight, you will be deemed as having approved of it, with all the attendant consequences. If your ex is not willing to move back, the younger child can live with you, and the 18-year-old gets to choose for herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart-broken dad View Post
Here are the changes I'd like to make: since my eldest daughter has turned 18, I should no longer no paying support. I requested proof of enrollment, but never received a reply. The FRO is telling me that the only way to change the payment is to proceed with a Motion to Change Order. The thought of going back to court is killing me.
Yes, CS should stop for your 18-year-old, unless she is still in school. With no proof of such enrollment, you have a good chance of having it reduced. What does your agreement say about CS ending? Does it have the usual end clause? I don't think FRO gave you good advice there. There are a number of steps you can take before going to court for a Motion to Change. The first one is to try to get your ex to sign a form agreeing to the CS change.

As for going back to court killing you, you need to overcome that fear. When you have an unreasonable ex (and one who moves away without notice is definitely unreasonable) court is your only option, and one that will be on your side if you are the reasonable one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart-broken dad View Post
I know that I can have my support payment reduced, but what are my chances of getting my arrears lowered as well? I'm hoping to have those $500 missed payments removed from the total amount. I'm not even going to argue about the support part of it as I fully intend to pay.
Do the math.

Get all your tax info, financials, etc from the last ten years. Make a spreadsheet, with columns for what your agreement said you had to pay, what you should have been paying based on your actual income, and what you actually managed to pay. Figure out what/where the differences are and exactly the amount of your arrears, both what they legally are, and what they should have been had you updated properly all along.

Tell FRO you're working on having your agreement updated, and pay what you can until then. I've heard they can be quite reasonable and flexible as long as you are paying something.

Send your ex a big letter with an offer to settle. Your terms are:
  • CS ends for the 18-year-old (unless your ex can provide proof of post-secondary enrollment). Choose a retroactive end date based on the child's birthday or high school graduation, whichever is later.
  • CS for the remaining child based on your current income going forward, adjusted annually.
  • Arrears forgiven. Be sure to point out your calculations of what they should have been, not what FRO thinks they are. Your ex may be more likely to accept it if the amount seems smaller.
  • Transportation costs for you to see the children are paid by your ex, or deducted from your CS. You agree not to fight the move away (unless you want to?) provided she agrees to these terms.
Invite her to respond with her own offer to settle, and continue negotiations, or you will begin the court process for a Motion to Change.

Also include in the package the FRO form for changing CS based on the oldest not being eligible. She either provides proof of enrollment in post-secondary education, or signs the form to have FRO change your CS.

You already know she is unreasonable and uncooperative, so start preparing for court.

You have to stop being Heartbroken and start being action-oriented if you want results. You've had your head in the sand far too long, it seems like.

Meanwhile, it sounds like you have been successfully alienated from your children? Start trying to develop a relationship with them that doesn't go through their mother. Get in touch with them directly by phone, email, Facebook, etc, and take an interest in their lives.

Last edited by Rioe; 11-22-2017 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
best not to give false hope without ages etc of the kids,how long ago the move was etc. You cannot say that he would get sole custody with any amount of certainty based on what information was given.
I stated he could bring a motion for such request. I did not however state that he would be guaranteed to win the motion.
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