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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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Old 02-15-2016, 01:57 PM
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Default Counter offer to settle suggestions?

I wish I found this forum years agoÖ
I am in a long drown out high conflict divorce with no resolution and our children are in the middle. Seeking some advice/ideas for a counter offer to settle before trial...
History
- Together for 16 years total married for 6 separated for almost 4 years.
- 2 Children Girls 11 & 13
- Always been an active involved father.
- No abuse or infidelities
- Wife worked p/t and full time jobs during the marriage.
- Both are in our early 40ís
- Interim court order in Summer 2013
o Custody/Access 9/5 days for wife to be reviewed for equal parenting in Oct 2013 (did not get reviewed)
o Child support and Spousal support $3900.00/month to be reviewed in or before April 2014 (did not get reviewed)
- Ex is currently in the matrimonial home (we verbally agreed to sell in June/July 2014 and she found a buyer but then never followed up).
- I attempted to resolve issues outside of court (Division of matrimonial property, working with a parenting coordinator, counsellors, presented a parenting plan, proposed a holiday schedule for the next 8 years and retrieving my personal property (clothes family items etc) ) all unsuccessful.
- I have submitted a formal offer to settle twice Ė both declined and never counter offered.
- In 2014 they offered a lump sum payment for spousal support of $60,000 I accepted then they retracted the offer.
- My lawyer put in an order to force the sale of the matrimonial home. (denied)
- My lawyer put in an order for a parenting coordinator. Was granted but the PC of their choice declined due to conflict of interest.
- My lawyer then put in another order for a parenting coordinator. (Denied).
- Sadly the children are put in the middle endlessly and are involved with parenting issues (by their mom).
- Every issue small or big is a battle. She has just kept the children on their days with me, changed agreed summer schedules to suit her.
- Transition days are very difficult for the girls and it takes me a day or two (of the five) for them to adjust.
- Child support of $1900.00/m has always been paid in full and on time
- Spousal Support of $2000.00/m has always been paid in full and on time (Total paid so far $62,000.00)
- I have taken the children to counselling to ease their stresses and Iíve talked to child psychologists and Parent support groups to be a better parent and understand how they are feeling and develop strategies to deal with issues.
- Unfortunately the lawyers dragged and delayed everything out and nothing has been resolved. I am now representing myself. Iíve used my half of the equity $85,000 in the matrimonial home and an additional $20,000.00 on a personal line of credit on legal costs.
- Ex-wife is/was using legal aid to fund legal costs.
- Ex-wife is currently working part time by her choice. (has been since we separated in 2013)
- The matter has been set for a 5 day Trial in June.
- I have had my hours reduced in January 2015 in the very volatile oil & gas industry.
I recently received a formal offer to settle (expires February 19, 2016) which in my opinion is far from being remotely reasonable or fair. I feel I have to throw fair out the window and ask what I am willing to sacrifice to be happy and to move forward for the wellbeing of our children. I donít want to continuously battle everything and by doing so I fear itís damaging the children now and into their future. I just want to cut all strings other than the child support/co-parenting.
My major dilemmas in the formal offer to settle is about custody and spousal support. What will a judge look at or deem reasonable to both parties (obviously it will depend on the individual judge) but in general?
Ex-Wifeís Formal offer to settle:
Custody/Access
- The Plaintiff shall continue to have primary residential care and control of the children, and the defendant shall have reasonable and liberal access as may be agreed between the parties, with the childrenís input. The parties shall continue to have joint decision responsibility with regard to major decisions but it there is a dispute about such decisions the plaintiff (wife) shall have final decision-making determination. In the event the defendant disputes the decision of the Plaintiff, the parties shall first attempt to mediate, before any court applications are commenced.
My Counter offer to Custody/Access
- I would like equally parenting and think itís more than reasonable but realistically I am thinking what is best for the children and has the least negative impact on them. So my offer was to keep the schedule the way it is the 9/5 days but ask that all major holidays be divided equally (summer, Christmas, Spring break) . Am I running the risk of the judge taking more time away from this? Is this reasonable and showing willingness to work together and resolve issues?
Spousal Support
- The Defendant shall be responsible to pay $1,500.00 per month in taxable and deductible spousal support to the plaintiff for a 5 year period (total ($90,000.00) or until such time as she finishes school and is earning over $60,000.00 per year, or remarries, whichever even first occurs.
My Counter Offer to Spousal Support
- I have already paid $2000.00/m for 31 months ($62,000.00)which I believe has given my ex sufficient time to finish any schooling to upgrade and money to look for alternative living conditions.
- Iím tore to put in an offer to say I will pay $2000.00 till the end of July 2016 which will be 3 years ($72,000.00)
- My second thought would be to put in a lump sum offer to cut all financial ties. Seeing that a lump sum offer was presented one a year ago of $60,000 I thought offering $45,000 - $50,000.00 would be fair now. Are they are any other options? Any advice about a counter offer?
ThanksÖso much...
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:26 PM
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I'd make a counter offer with an eye to trial in June. (You've waited this long, what's another 3-4 months?)

Some people you just can't negotiate with.

Regarding Spousal Support - lump sum is usually preferable but you could also consider offering a "tapered-off" amount where in a period of time it becomes zero and have wording that spousal support ends at that time (be specific with no codicils). Judges like tapered off spousal support because it gives the recipient time to adjust and encourages self-sufficiency.
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 103
YYZDaddy is on a distinguished road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1414 View Post
I wish I found this forum years agoÖ
I am in a long drown out high conflict divorce with no resolution and our children are in the middle. Seeking some advice/ideas for a counter offer to settle before trial...
History
- Together for 16 years total married for 6 separated for almost 4 years.
- 2 Children Girls 11 & 13
- Always been an active involved father.
- No abuse or infidelities
- Wife worked p/t and full time jobs during the marriage.
- Both are in our early 40ís
- Interim court order in Summer 2013
o Custody/Access 9/5 days for wife to be reviewed for equal parenting in Oct 2013 (did not get reviewed)
o Child support and Spousal support $3900.00/month to be reviewed in or before April 2014 (did not get reviewed)
- Ex is currently in the matrimonial home (we verbally agreed to sell in June/July 2014 and she found a buyer but then never followed up).
- I attempted to resolve issues outside of court (Division of matrimonial property, working with a parenting coordinator, counsellors, presented a parenting plan, proposed a holiday schedule for the next 8 years and retrieving my personal property (clothes family items etc) ) all unsuccessful.
- I have submitted a formal offer to settle twice Ė both declined and never counter offered.
- In 2014 they offered a lump sum payment for spousal support of $60,000 I accepted then they retracted the offer.
- My lawyer put in an order to force the sale of the matrimonial home. (denied)
- My lawyer put in an order for a parenting coordinator. Was granted but the PC of their choice declined due to conflict of interest.
- My lawyer then put in another order for a parenting coordinator. (Denied).
- Sadly the children are put in the middle endlessly and are involved with parenting issues (by their mom).
- Every issue small or big is a battle. She has just kept the children on their days with me, changed agreed summer schedules to suit her.
- Transition days are very difficult for the girls and it takes me a day or two (of the five) for them to adjust.
- Child support of $1900.00/m has always been paid in full and on time
- Spousal Support of $2000.00/m has always been paid in full and on time (Total paid so far $62,000.00)
- I have taken the children to counselling to ease their stresses and Iíve talked to child psychologists and Parent support groups to be a better parent and understand how they are feeling and develop strategies to deal with issues.
- Unfortunately the lawyers dragged and delayed everything out and nothing has been resolved. I am now representing myself. Iíve used my half of the equity $85,000 in the matrimonial home and an additional $20,000.00 on a personal line of credit on legal costs.
- Ex-wife is/was using legal aid to fund legal costs.
- Ex-wife is currently working part time by her choice. (has been since we separated in 2013)
- The matter has been set for a 5 day Trial in June.
- I have had my hours reduced in January 2015 in the very volatile oil & gas industry.
I recently received a formal offer to settle (expires February 19, 2016) which in my opinion is far from being remotely reasonable or fair. I feel I have to throw fair out the window and ask what I am willing to sacrifice to be happy and to move forward for the wellbeing of our children. I donít want to continuously battle everything and by doing so I fear itís damaging the children now and into their future. I just want to cut all strings other than the child support/co-parenting.
My major dilemmas in the formal offer to settle is about custody and spousal support. What will a judge look at or deem reasonable to both parties (obviously it will depend on the individual judge) but in general?
Ex-Wifeís Formal offer to settle:
Custody/Access
- The Plaintiff shall continue to have primary residential care and control of the children, and the defendant shall have reasonable and liberal access as may be agreed between the parties, with the childrenís input. The parties shall continue to have joint decision responsibility with regard to major decisions but it there is a dispute about such decisions the plaintiff (wife) shall have final decision-making determination. In the event the defendant disputes the decision of the Plaintiff, the parties shall first attempt to mediate, before any court applications are commenced.
My Counter offer to Custody/Access
- I would like equally parenting and think itís more than reasonable but realistically I am thinking what is best for the children and has the least negative impact on them. So my offer was to keep the schedule the way it is the 9/5 days but ask that all major holidays be divided equally (summer, Christmas, Spring break) . Am I running the risk of the judge taking more time away from this? Is this reasonable and showing willingness to work together and resolve issues?
Spousal Support
- The Defendant shall be responsible to pay $1,500.00 per month in taxable and deductible spousal support to the plaintiff for a 5 year period (total ($90,000.00) or until such time as she finishes school and is earning over $60,000.00 per year, or remarries, whichever even first occurs.
My Counter Offer to Spousal Support
- I have already paid $2000.00/m for 31 months ($62,000.00)which I believe has given my ex sufficient time to finish any schooling to upgrade and money to look for alternative living conditions.
- Iím tore to put in an offer to say I will pay $2000.00 till the end of July 2016 which will be 3 years ($72,000.00)
- My second thought would be to put in a lump sum offer to cut all financial ties. Seeing that a lump sum offer was presented one a year ago of $60,000 I thought offering $45,000 - $50,000.00 would be fair now. Are they are any other options? Any advice about a counter offer?
ThanksÖso much...
Just some quick thoughts...
- Can you demonstrate (evidence) that you have been actively involved in your kids lives?
- Can you demonstrate the attempts at working with your ex, her refusals, her keeping the kids from you, etc? Not petty stuff, but big picture incidents
- I'd counter with equal access and sole custody, or joint in the alternative. Don't go in with the bare minimum you're willing to accept
- The girls are of an age that their views *may* be considered. They don't have a choice, but may have a voice.
- Can't comment on the financials

If it goes to trial, the judge will look at patterns in determining which parent would be best for the girls, or if joint/shared is a possibility. S/he will also look at which parent is most likely to facilitate access with the other. Show that you have been working at being a good dad and a reasonable/co-operative ex. If you can demonstrate that she has been controlling as you indicate, you stand a good chance.

As you are self representing, there are some VERY experienced people in here that can add some guidance.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
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