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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 01-19-2017, 09:40 AM
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Default To go forward or walk away? Advice, please!

Hello, everyone. Thank you for reading. I've been following this forum for the past year. First time posting as I am at a loss of what to do and would love your insight.

Here is the backstory:

Him: aged 60
Me: aged 46
Stats: he has two grown children from a prior marriage. I have no children.
Date of marriage: January 31, 2014
Reason for separation: breach of trust

Prior to marriage, my husband - who was 3 years away from retirement (self-employed) told me:
  • his mortgage was paid off
  • he had a comfortable nest egg in RRSPs
  • current Business #1 income = approx. $100,000
  • current Business #2 income = approx. $40,000
Given our age difference, we mapped out our future with plans to each be responsible for our own long-term care, retirement income, etc. He would leave Business #1 (physical job) but keep Business #2 as well as rely on his savings/CPP. His savings was not huge, but given that his monthly expenses (no mortgage) were not high, I was comfortable with his numbers.

I would continue to work for another 20-25 years and save for my own long-term care and retirement. I earn $50,000 a year.

When I moved into his home, we made a verbal agreement to share expenses/chores as follows:
  • I would pay for shared groceries plus my own car payments/gas/phone bill/personal expenses
  • He would pay for gas/hydro/property taxes plus additional personal expenses (many of which were business write-offs for him)
  • I would be responsible for indoor chores, he would be responsible for outdoor chores.
  • I offered a pre-nup to protect his assets, requested we see a financial advisor, re-do our wills to ensure our estates still went to our families, etc. He declined all of this. "I know you're not a gold-digger", he said.
Six months after we got married, I found out:
  • the house we lived in together was not 'mortgage-free' or even his house. It was a rental.
  • he had no RRSP or any kind of savings to speak of
  • his total income was approximately 1/2 what he had claimed to me
  • Business #2, his retirement backup plan, was in the red and had been for years
Let me state now that I know that I should have left him then. I didn't because I was just too ashamed. This was my first marriage, and I couldn't cope with the idea that it was a failure only six months in. I decided to stay, and tried to make it work.

He paid rent of $1200 monthly (his businesses pay half of this). I took over paying the hydro bill. Out of principle, I never offered to split the rent with him. I was too angry.

I forced him into full transparency and a savings plan. Over the next 2.5 years, he would save around $60-$70k.

Unfortunately, the lies continued. There was insurance fraud, tax evasion, and just general financial lies and broken promises. Finally, after my resentment and anger were just too big to ignore anymore, I left on November 25, 2016.

I took with me (he gave it to me) $10,000 in cash to partially pay back my parents for their share of the wedding expenses. We split the money ($5k each). This is all I have taken.

Today, he refuses to fill out financial disclosure documents that my lawyer has provided him. He is only willing to work with me on a DIY separation agreement, but won't be disclosing finances or tax forms.

I suspect that there is another perhaps $10,000 in equalization if I choose to pursue it. I do feel that had he not humiliated me, had I not found out, had I not insisted on him changing his savings habits, that he would still have no savings to speak of. When he has moments of remorse or clarity, he acknowledges this. That said, $10k isn't going to make or break me.

Most of the time he is rabid toward me. Literally rabid. He has even threatened to sue me for all the bills he paid (unjust enrichment, I guess?) I don't think there is any merit to this threat (my lawyer laughed). He is also insisting he should be left on my employer's medical benefits, even though he refuses to negotiate a separation agreement via attorneys.

Should I:
  1. Do nothing further, wait out the year, file for divorce and see what happens? If he doesn't contest, count myself lucky I'm free of him?
  2. Pursue financial disclosure/equalization/SA via the courts? The fees may override the payout (or I could self-represent).
I do want a SA to cover my ass, mostly. I am worried about what else he may or may not have done without my knowledge.

What do the experts here think I should do?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2017, 04:26 PM
Janus's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,298
Janus will become famous soon enough
Default

You seem pretty clear-headed. You might be a good candidate to self-rep.

The DIY could insulate you from further debt-related shenanigans without much cost.

You don't have kids, you can have a clean break. I think my recommendation would be to let it go, but it is a weak recommendation. I could easily be persuaded otherwise.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2017, 01:32 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conned View Post
Here is the backstory:

Him: aged 60
Me: aged 46
Irrelevant information.

Quote:
Stats: he has two grown children from a prior marriage. I have no children.
Great. Easy and clean break.

Quote:
Date of marriage: January 31, 2014
Short term marriage... Not much you will get out of it so don't expect much.

Quote:
Reason for separation: breach of trust
Reason not needed. We live in a "no fault divorce" country.

Quote:
Prior to marriage, my husband - who was 3 years away from retirement (self-employed) told me:
  • his mortgage was paid off
  • he had a comfortable nest egg in RRSPs
  • current Business #1 income = approx. $100,000
  • current Business #2 income = approx. $40,000
Reason 3984938 to get a marrage contract. You should have gotten the disclosure prior to the marriage if the above was important to you.

Quote:
Given our age difference, we mapped out our future with plans to each be responsible for our own long-term care, retirement income, etc. He would leave Business #1 (physical job) but keep Business #2 as well as rely on his savings/CPP. His savings was not huge, but given that his monthly expenses (no mortgage) were not high, I was comfortable with his numbers.
Irrelivant. Unless you have a marrage contract to this effect it is hearsay evidence of no value.

Quote:
I would continue to work for another 20-25 years and save for my own long-term care and retirement. I earn $50,000 a year.
Again. Irrelivant. Unless you have a marrage contract it is hearsay evidence.

Quote:
When I moved into his home, we made a verbal agreement to share expenses/chores as follows:
  • I would pay for shared groceries plus my own car payments/gas/phone bill/personal expenses
  • He would pay for gas/hydro/property taxes plus additional personal expenses (many of which were business write-offs for him)
  • I would be responsible for indoor chores, he would be responsible for outdoor chores.
  • I offered a pre-nup to protect his assets, requested we see a financial advisor, re-do our wills to ensure our estates still went to our families, etc. He declined all of this. "I know you're not a gold-digger", he said.
Again... irrelevant. Verbal agreements are hearsay.

Quote:
Six months after we got married, I found out:
  • the house we lived in together was not 'mortgage-free' or even his house. It was a rental.
  • he had no RRSP or any kind of savings to speak of
  • his total income was approximately 1/2 what he had claimed to me
  • Business #2, his retirement backup plan, was in the red and had been for years
Again, who cares? All you know is that you are not going to get anything and equalization starts at the date of marriage only 3 years ago. You are also very young (46). You have your whole life ahead of you. With CND life expectancy you have easily 40 more years to live possibly. 20 of which are full income earning.

You won't get anything from him and he won't get anything from you. If your lawyer tells you this. Get a new one because that lawyer is trying to soak you for fees.

Quote:
Let me state now that I know that I should have left him then.
Water under the bridge.

Quote:
I didn't because I was just too ashamed. This was my first marriage, and I couldn't cope with the idea that it was a failure only six months in. I decided to stay, and tried to make it work.
Water under the bridge. At least no children are involved.

Quote:
He paid rent of $1200 monthly (his businesses pay half of this). I took over paying the hydro bill. Out of principle, I never offered to split the rent with him. I was too angry.
Again, irrelivant. You were married and living together. The court won't get your money back or his. What is done is done.

Quote:
I forced him into full transparency and a savings plan. Over the next 2.5 years, he would save around $60-$70k.
He doesn't have to. Sorry to say... He can do with his money what he wants.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the lies continued. There was insurance fraud, tax evasion, and just general financial lies and broken promises. Finally, after my resentment and anger were just too big to ignore anymore, I left on November 25, 2016.
You don't need a reason to leave. Water under the bridge. Also, just to warn you making accusations of criminal offences in a civil matter is not allowed. So, although you state this you probably shouldn't put this into an affidavit or try to use any of that as "leverage" in the settlement.

Quote:
I took with me (he gave it to me) $10,000 in cash to partially pay back my parents for their share of the wedding expenses. We split the money ($5k each). This is all I have taken.
Weddings are gifts. Courts won't make him pay you or your parents back. So consider yourself lucky you even got 10,000.

Quote:
Today, he refuses to fill out financial disclosure documents that my lawyer has provided him. He is only willing to work with me on a DIY separation agreement, but won't be disclosing finances or tax forms.
He isn't under the obligation to complete a Form 13.1 until such time an Application is brought before the court. It would be in his best interests to do so to settle the matter but, he isn't legally obligated. In fact, he may indeed be getting legal advice and simply running up your legal bill by yammering away in letters with your lawyer and having your lawyer send documents he isn't obligated to fill out and arguing about it. The lawyer will then show up when the Application comes and more delays will come to waste your money.

Quote:
I suspect that there is another perhaps $10,000 in equalization if I choose to pursue it.
It isn't worth it. Your lawyer is probably costing you 350-800 an hour. Do the math. A motion is usually 3-5 days of legal time + HST + disbursements. Most motions cost 15,000 to get to. You may not even get to a motion and may end up doing CC and SC a bunch. As there are no children your matter will be at the very bottom of any list at the court house.

Quote:
I do feel that had he not humiliated me, had I not found out, had I not insisted on him changing his savings habits, that he would still have no savings to speak of.
Courts don't award money on equalization for feeling humiliated. They equalize. If he has 10K you get 5K. A judge would go right insane on the both of you if you show up to court seeking equalization on 5k. The cost to have the judge and all the staff there probably costs more!!!!!!!

Quote:
When he has moments of remorse or clarity, he acknowledges this. That said, $10k isn't going to make or break me.
The Ruler of the Wasteland, the Iotola of Rock-and-Roll-A, Lord Humungus recommends you "just walk away" and there will be an "end to the horror". Spare your lives and get safe passage from the waste land that is Family Law.

Quote:
Most of the time he is rabid toward me. Literally rabid.
Why are you even talking to him. There are no kids. Just stop talking to him. You are under no obligation to talk to him ever again.

Quote:
He has even threatened to sue me for all the bills he paid (unjust enrichment, I guess?) I don't think there is any merit to this threat (my lawyer laughed).
No merit. Ignore it.

Quote:
He is also insisting he should be left on my employer's medical benefits, even though he refuses to negotiate a separation agreement via attorneys.
To be frank, until such time you get a divorce order you should leave him on. You can take him off but, you may get ordered to put him back on. Especially if he has a LTD.

Quote:
Should I:

Do nothing further, wait out the year, file for divorce and see what happens? If he doesn't contest, count myself lucky I'm free of him?
You need a speration agreement or a court order to do this. So, you have to negotiate a settlement or get a court ot make an order. He can contest the divorce.

The other option is if you are not planning to get married any time soon... Don't bother filing for divorce. Just click seperated on your tax forms. You have no kids and are making no claim for SS. Just do as Lord Humungus and walk away.

Marriage is a legal definition. You are not obligated to anything. It just prevents you from marrying someone else. It is an obsolete legal concept these days.

Quote:
Pursue financial disclosure/equalization/SA via the courts? The fees may override the payout (or I could self-represent).
If you truly want the "legal divorce" you may have to go to court to get an order. But, it is cheaper to walk away and click "seperated" on your taxes and never get married again. Or simply live in common law with your next partner.

Quote:
I do want a SA to cover my ass, mostly. I am worried about what else he may or may not have done without my knowledge.
You have a shared account? Clear it out and close it. Close all joint accounts. You are done. Make sure you pay goes into your own account. Done.

Quote:
What do the experts here think I should do?
There are no experts here other than Lord Hummungus and he says to walk away, leave the gasoline and the pumps and avoid the horror.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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