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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2012, 08:17 PM
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Question "Costs"

Stbx has finally filed court documents. He asks for "costs" and pretrial interest but I am not sure

a) Why they are awarded?
b) Why would he qualify?
c) How can you get blood from a stone? LOL.

I have never denied him access. We are arguing about money mostly.

We have gone back and forth with agreement offers but my previous lawyer has said they have been too low.

His obviously says too high.

I make less than $20,000 a year. He makes $70,000. I have currently qualified for legal aid (for a complicated manner that is not a result of any abuse.)

Also, there are numerous errors on the application. Like the children's grade levels, my employment date (by 6 months), the date of separation, the fact that he says he lives with his parents but lives with his girlfriend. Then later he says he "lives alone" and no other adult's income is listed.... Are these errors even important?

Any thoughts? Thanks.

II
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post

We have gone back and forth with agreement offers but my previous lawyer has said they have been too low.

His obviously says too high.

Stbx has finally filed court documents. He asks for "costs" and pretrial interest but I am not sure

a) Why they are awarded?
b) Why would he qualify?
Fellow posters explain the answer in this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post

c) How can you get blood from a stone? LOL.

I make less than $20,000 a year. He makes $70,000. I have currently qualified for legal aid (for a complicated manner that is not a result of any abuse.)
II
Not sure the parties' incomes matter as much as one may think. search for the " Red Bull gives you wings" thread for an interesting court ruling re: costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post

Also, there are numerous errors on the application. Like the children's grade levels, my employment date (by 6 months), the date of separation, the fact that he says he lives with his parents but lives with his girlfriend. Then later he says he "lives alone" and no other adult's income is listed.... Are these errors even important?
Probably not.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:49 PM
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Re errors, they are important if they are relevant. Is it relevant to either of your arguments if the children's grade level is wrong? If not, it won't matter. If he is trying to argue that he is deeply involved with the children's schooling then you may be able to show it is relevant. Most of the time it isn't relevant.

Re costs, they are determined by whether one party has "won" a substantive issue in the case, and by whether either party made a offer to settle before the trial that was equal or better than what was awarded at trial.

So if you want the children 5 days a week, he offered you a settlement of 4 days a week, and the judge awards you 4 and him 3 days. You "lost" and you turned down an equivalent offer. You are likely to be required to pay costs.

There are likely more than one issue. Let's say there are 4 different issues. If you lose all 4, you will pay "100%" of his costs. That is still vague. What are his costs? It won't be his total legal bill, it will be an amount the judge decides is reasonable. Now let's say you win 2 issues, and he wins 2 issues. But his costs are higher, so you may end up paying something to him.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:47 PM
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I can't see where he is asking for anything except for me to pay for 1/2 the marital debt. Was he supposed to make a concrete offer (value) of spousal support?

He has asked for a divorce and a divorce severed from corollary relief.

He asks for joint custody and access (which he has had all along). I won't fight him on that.

He has asked for a minimum of EOW, which he gets without fail now. I have never denied him access.

I have already spent thousands with the previous non legal aid lawyer trying to get a separation agreement worked out for spousal and child support. At one point my lawyer sent 6 letters in a four week period. His lawyer responded to none of them.

He has sent three offers. I declined and sent three offers back. He declined.

What is there to "win" for costs?

Finally, in regards to mistakes, for example he lists his parent's address as his address, in another spot he says municipality of address #2 in another city (current until Aug 31) but he really lives at address #3 with new girlfriend in her house. In his financial statement, he lists his $1400 rent as the rent from Address # 2. He signed the papers after he already moved out of address # 2.

What if I lied about how much I was paying rent?

He even has our date of marriage wrong.

He does claim he has significantly over paid ss and wants it back through equalization. (But we have no assets. I mean really no assets.)

And sorry, last thing, my non legal aid lawyer requested a mediation date where the four of us could hash it out and try to work it out. He refused to go and went right to the court filing. Does that help my case?
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Stbx has finally filed court documents. He asks for "costs" and pretrial interest but I am not sure

a) Why they are awarded?
Costs would be awarded often when a litigant is found to be conducting themselves in "bad faith" or when a reasonable offer to settle was presented and the other party didn't negotiate to settle the matter.

Costs exist to prevent highly conflicted litigants who are unable to settle matters rather than litigate them pay a penalty for "going to court" on unreasonable expectations.

Costs are in place to make both parties consider their position in the matters. Often though, the highly conflicted don't understand that costs could be awarded against them for their conduct. They see the other party in the litigtion as all bad and don't even understand why costs would be ordered against them... The "all good" party.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
b) Why would he qualify?
1. Unsubstantiated claims against him.
2. Unreasonable litigation brought against him. (e.g. false allegations of abuse, restricted access by the parent in question to the child in question...)
3. The other litigant conducted themselves in "bad faith".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
c) How can you get blood from a stone? LOL.
Well, like this litigant who didn't behave in the best light, hurled allegations that were found to be false, etc...

CanLII - 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
I have never denied him access. We are arguing about money mostly.
The real question is who is the reasonable party? That is what the judge determines when ordering costs against a party. Costs are not ordered against litigants for just denial of access... It is ordered for all unreasonable conduct.

Swear that the other party has an offshore account, drag them to trial on something that doesn't exist and they prove it... You will be paying their legal costs for your unreasonable expectations... Just saying...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
We have gone back and forth with agreement offers but my previous lawyer has said they have been too low.
Why is it your "previous lawyer"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
His obviously says too high.

I make less than $20,000 a year. He makes $70,000. I have currently qualified for legal aid (for a complicated manner that is not a result of any abuse.)
MySupportCalculator.ca

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Also, there are numerous errors on the application. Like the children's grade levels, my employment date (by 6 months), the date of separation, the fact that he says he lives with his parents but lives with his girlfriend. Then later he says he "lives alone" and no other adult's income is listed.... Are these errors even important?
The are not relevant. It is a common behaviour pattern of highly conflicted people to be engrossed in trying to prove the other party wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Any thoughts? Thanks.
If it is just a matter of financial settlement and no custody and access issues are in dispute. Settle the matter if possible. Recommend attendance at a Legal Aid Ontario Settlement Conference...

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
I can't see where he is asking for anything except for me to pay for 1/2 the marital debt. Was he supposed to make a concrete offer (value) of spousal support?
BOTH parties have the opportunity to follow Rule 18 and make offers to settle. Neither party has to make an offer to settle. It is in your best interests to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
He has asked for a divorce and a divorce severed from corollary relief.
Meaning, he wants the divorce as soon as possible and that the rest of the matters will continue to be before the court generally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
He asks for joint custody and access (which he has had all along). I won't fight him on that.
Then partition off the custody and access elements and just get a signed agreement. You don't have to shotgun settle everything in one document. You can settle all the elements of custody and access independent of the financials. Actually, it is a good idea to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
He has asked for a minimum of EOW, which he gets without fail now. I have never denied him access.
Why not 50-50 access?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
I have already spent thousands with the previous non legal aid lawyer trying to get a separation agreement worked out for spousal and child support. At one point my lawyer sent 6 letters in a four week period. His lawyer responded to none of them.
Nor are they obligated. The content may have been irrelevant. Often good lawyers don't bother responding to unsubstantiated allegations and allow their client's bills to be run up by the highly conflicted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
He has sent three offers. I declined and sent three offers back. He declined.
And? Keep making reasonable offers, eventually and hopefully you will meet in the middle and settle rather than litigate. That is the purpose of settlement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
What is there to "win" for costs?
If you settle, generally costs are up to each party to bear on their own. So whatever costs you have you pay... Whatever he has... He pays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
Finally, in regards to mistakes, for example he lists his parent's address as his address, in another spot he says municipality of address #2 in another city (current until Aug 31) but he really lives at address #3 with new girlfriend in her house. In his financial statement, he lists his $1400 rent as the rent from Address # 2. He signed the papers after he already moved out of address # 2.
The court won't care...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
What if I lied about how much I was paying rent?
You could be found in contempt of the court for perjury. Often people do this to increase their expenses so they can get more spousal support. Judges do not look at this as a good idea.

You are affirming to the truth that what you put on the affidavit as truthful. They even warn you of the penalty of perjury (a criminal offense) on the documents you are affirming to the truth.

Not a good idea to lie before the court... Ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
He even has our date of marriage wrong.

He does claim he has significantly over paid ss and wants it back through equalization. (But we have no assets. I mean really no assets.)
He can claim all he wants... Proving it is a different story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
And sorry, last thing, my non legal aid lawyer requested a mediation date where the four of us could hash it out and try to work it out. He refused to go and went right to the court filing. Does that help my case?
Not much really... Until costs are determined...

Good Luck!
Tayken
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