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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 06-06-2017, 05:32 PM
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Default Legal Advice - Divorce / Ontario

Greetings.

I have filed a form 8A and served it to the respondent today (successfully) by way of process server (for an simple uncontested divorce as that is what we were doing when I started this). She and I had negotiated a separation agreement without legal counsel, however, I believe that disclosure (financial) was done. I was contacted by her lawyer today indicating that they believe that the separation agreement is null and that they will be filing a financial disclosure and they hope to renegotiate the agreement.

While we did not seek legal counsel, we came to the financial agreement in this way

1) We pulled up bank statements indicating what we had prior to getting married/living together (financially)
2) We figured out how much we earned as a couple, and then we split these earnings in half **She also did my taxes for the last 5 or so years so she is well aware of all of my income/finances etc**
a) She keeps what she brought in, I keep what I brought in (to the relationship)
b) We split what we earned in half, and then I paid her a lump sum for equalization of assets.

We agreed to a lump sum as that way she would not be taxed on spousal payments. She and I also agreed that there would be no need for spousal support.

--
So here's what I've learned from legal advice through my employer's legal line. 1) Wait until the other party tells me what they want before retaining my own counsel and 2) The separation agreement that was signed and witnessed may or may not be valid after all. I understand a court will try and see if the agreement is fair and if good faith for the disclosure was done (Which IMHO it was).

So ultimately the way I see it is that the other party is going hard ball right now and telling me they view it as null and void, when in fact it may not be the case, and now I should wait and see what the response is to my application for uncontested divorce (they have 30 days), or I'll continue with my divorce and they make an application for spousal support and/or a redistribution of previous assets.

Is there anything I'm missing here?

Thank you
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:51 PM
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They are merely "positioning" in the event (and likely the lawyer's hope) that the two of you will now fight instead of doing what the two of you wanted to do - settle things amicably. If there is equity in home etc. lawyers ogle that.

your ex, however, should have independent legal counsel (ILA) to ensure that she isn't being snookered and that the agreement the two of you cooked up is fair, and in line with current legislation. Actually, it is preferable that the two of you have ILA.

Down the road you don't want your ex coming back to you for money with a claim that she was pressured into the agreement and had no idea of her "rights."
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:52 PM
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No home equity, no matrimonial home, no kids.

Just a FYI.
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:53 PM
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large salary, pension ?

large debt?
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
large salary, pension ?

large debt?
Larger salary on my part than hers. Nothing exceeding $200K, but still larger than hers.

Married for 3 years, no pension, debt
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:27 PM
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so if you have no assets then what is the equalization for?

I think you mean to say that you have offered a lump-sum SS. Correct?
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
so if you have no assets then what is the equalization for?

I think you mean to say that you have offered a lump-sum SS. Correct?
Good point, thanks.

Lump sum SS - yes, you can think of it like that.

E.g.

I brought in $10K to the marriage
She brought in $10K to the marriage

We earned $100K together.

I sent her a lump sum payment of $50K. (she keeps 10k, I keep 10k, I send her half of the amount we earned together) because I kept all $100K in "my personal accounts"
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:32 PM
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.5 to 1/years married is general range for length of SS. 3 year marriage I would estimate that you would come in at 1.5 years of paying SS. Round it up to 2 to be generous.

High range of amount would be 50% of difference between your income and hers.

So you can do the simple math. Is your offer of a lump sum reasonable?
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathatter89 View Post
Good point, thanks.

Lump sum SS - yes, you can think of it like that.

E.g.

I brought in $10K to the marriage
She brought in $10K to the marriage

We earned $100K together.

I sent her a lump sum payment of $50K. (she keeps 10k, I keep 10k, I send her half of the amount we earned together) because I kept all $100K in "my personal accounts"

Then you have assets - cash You are dividing up your assets....equalization of assets.

Spousal support is entirely different. She may or may not be entitled to SS. If she makes a claim for SS then you would be wise to hire a lawyer. However, she would have to prove why she is entitled to SS (3 year marriage set her career back - hard to do with no children).

Many people think that the words "spousal support" should never come out of your mouth until she formally makes a claim. Always keep in mind that should she be successful (down the road) with her claim, it may be retroactive to the time when she first raised the subject of SS.

So, I guess you will wait now to see what her lawyer sends to you.

Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Then you have assets - cash You are dividing up your assets....equalization of assets.

Spousal support is entirely different. She may or may not be entitled to SS. If she makes a claim for SS then you would be wise to hire a lawyer. However, she would have to prove why she is entitled to SS (3 year marriage set her career back - hard to do with no children).

Many people think that the words "spousal support" should never come out of your mouth until she formally makes a claim. Always keep in mind that should she be successful (down the road) with her claim, it may be retroactive to the time when she first raised the subject of SS.

So, I guess you will wait now to see what her lawyer sends to you.

Good luck!
Ok, yes, I think that SS would be hard to prove. She changed her career due to health reasons and so she did take a step back, but that was because of her health and we are both in our twenties.

I'm curious. If either her parent provided money to pay off the odd credit card bill and my parents did that as well, and neither of us disclosed that prior to the separation agreement, does that make the entire agreement invalid because we failed to disclose this? (this is not a material amount to either party). Thanks!
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