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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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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2017, 09:41 PM
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You are both young, no children and married for short term and I therefore I don't believe SS will come into play.

Unless you signed agreements to repay parents then it is irrelevant. If you make the kind of money you say you do then I really wonder about the two of you having your parents pay off your credit cards. If you can't manage your spending habits then I would suggest cutting up and disposing of your credit cards.

Sounds like the two of you were mutually not honest in disclosing gifts from parents throughout your short marriage (receiving money from parents to pay off credit cards).

I'd learn from your mistakes and move on. You have probably "dodged a bullet" but the next time may not be so simple. Had you stayed with this person a few more years and she became totally disabled then you could be supporting her for a very long time.

You did not disclose how you and your STBX made the 100k - hope it was legal or you had fun doing it! Hopefully you and your ex paid back your parents???
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
You are both young, no children and married for short term and I therefore I don't believe SS will come into play.

Unless you signed agreements to repay parents then it is irrelevant. If you make the kind of money you say you do then I really wonder about the two of you having your parents pay off your credit cards. If you can't manage your spending habits then I would suggest cutting up and disposing of your credit cards.

Sounds like the two of you were mutually not honest in disclosing gifts from parents throughout your short marriage (receiving money from parents to pay off credit cards).

I'd learn from your mistakes and move on. You have probably "dodged a bullet" but the next time may not be so simple. Had you stayed with this person a few more years and she became totally disabled then you could be supporting her for a very long time.

You did not disclose how you and your STBX made the 100k - hope it was legal or you had fun doing it! Hopefully you and your ex paid back your parents???
STBX? Don't know what that is.

100k+ is my salaried full time job - all declared to the CRA.

Just out of curiosity, we separated a year ago. Multiple lawyers have told me that the other party proving that the separation agreement is null and void would be a stretch and it isn't as clear and cut as they say it is - which I agree.

Let's say, worst case scenario it is thrown out. Would the spousal support payment and equalization of asset be based on what I have now in the bank and make, or based on what I made when we separated and what I had in the bank account at that time (of separation?)

I assume the equalization payment I've already made is worth something?

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:23 PM
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If you have spoken to "multiple lawyers" then I think you have your answer.

Spousal support MAY be retroactive to the time when it was first raised by the other party. Did your STBX (soon to be ex), or EX send you a letter at the time of separation demanding SS? If you receive communication from your ex's lawyer demanding SS then the date of demand would come into play should she be successful.

You can read up on cases which have been decided by judges which are similar to yours (case law) by accessing CanLii.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
If you have spoken to "multiple lawyers" then I think you have your answer.

Spousal support MAY be retroactive to the time when it was first raised by the other party. Did your STBX (soon to be ex), or EX send you a letter at the time of separation demanding SS? If you receive communication from your ex's lawyer demanding SS then the date of demand would come into play should she be successful.

You can read up on cases which have been decided by judges which are similar to yours (case law) by accessing CanLii.
I've been going through a lot of emotion today, so please forgive me, the first thing I need and should have said earlier was thank you for all of your help. My apologies I did not convey my thanks earlier.

I've been talking to multiple lawyers (a work perk for me) and have sought advice on this forum, so have been running around with my head cut off for the last 5 hours or so.

My STBX did not demand SS at the time of separation and has not done so yet. The only thing I got today was a letter from her lawyer indicating that they believe the separation agreement is null and void and that they were looking to renegotiate the separation agreement - so nothing about SS.

Because I have served her with the application for divorce today, her lawyer has 30 days to reply back to my application indicating what she wants.

Until then, I really don't know what she wants. One of the items I noticed that she can fight for is for me to cover her legal costs. Is that a normal item for me to have to pay her legal costs for her to 'renegotiate' the separation agreement?

Anyways, say the agreement is in fact declared null and void. I understand she has to file a financial disclosure form, I don't think I have to at this point because the agreement has not been considered null and void.

Let's say that it is though, is it an equalization of assets and SS based on the date of separation, or is it based on what I and she have now? (a year after separation and living apart?)
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:45 PM
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No. This just speaks to the immaturity of the two people/inability to live within their means IMO.

It would be a colossal waste of money to pay a lawyer 350.00/hr to delve into this. You are a high-income earner and you should realize that there are many lawyers out there who are going to try to separate you from your money. They can do this by simply convincing your ex that she is being ripped off and is entitled to more money. How you deal with this? You have to shut off the pump so-to-speak. You have been separated for more than a year. Hopefully you and your ex aren't still email/text buddies. Big mistake but then that is a thing of this generation isn't it?... having to stay connected. With that said, I'd cut off communication and move on with your life (hopefully move out of your parents place too LOL).
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:45 PM
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These are the notes I just took from my latest call with a lawyer.

Thoughts?

-she makes more now, that's in my favor

-what we have saved in our bank account now is irrelevant

-what she is entitled to is based on date of separation

-costs - she is choosing to revisit a signed separation agreement
courts will deem that she is responsible for a portion of the costs as she chose to revisit it

Any disagreements?

----------------------------------

I see a reply was just posted.

1) I have not communicated to my ex in a year.
2) Neither of us live with our parents, we both live alone.

Both of us live within our means, we just have had parents in the past who sometimes want to pay the odd bill. We're obviously not going to say no. Neither of us owe any money to anyone.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:58 AM
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I am not sure what is left to negotiate if you did proper equalization... although I didn't see anywhere about savings, RRSPs, etc. Those also have to be equalized. So if that was not done you could owe her more money. I agree with waiting to see what they formally respond to the court with. Don't respond to her lawyer letter, you have already served her so it's now up to her to go through the proper channels and respond via court.

Any equalization payment will be based on time of separation. I would prepare by making a list of all debts and assets at the time of separation. Including any savings accounts, RRSPs, etc.

It's not uncommon for parents to help their children out... if you're in your 20s I can assume you most likely finished school a few years ago and are starting to get in your feet. There is nothing wrong with parents helping out. There is nothing to claim for that either. Only difference it would make is if these credit cards that were paid off before separation were still used in equalization. Say they paid off $5000 on credit card debt, you can't say you had a $5000 credit card at time of separation to lower the equalization payment. In your case it should be simple math


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Old 06-07-2017, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
I am not sure what is left to negotiate if you did proper equalization... although I didn't see anywhere about savings, RRSPs, etc. Those also have to be equalized. So if that was not done you could owe her more money. I agree with waiting to see what they formally respond to the court with. Don't respond to her lawyer letter, you have already served her so it's now up to her to go through the proper channels and respond via court.

Any equalization payment will be based on time of separation. I would prepare by making a list of all debts and assets at the time of separation. Including any savings accounts, RRSPs, etc.

It's not uncommon for parents to help their children out... if you're in your 20s I can assume you most likely finished school a few years ago and are starting to get in your feet. There is nothing wrong with parents helping out. There is nothing to claim for that either. Only difference it would make is if these credit cards that were paid off before separation were still used in equalization. Say they paid off $5000 on credit card debt, you can't say you had a $5000 credit card at time of separation to lower the equalization payment. In your case it should be simple math


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I agree with you which is why i'm waiting for the answer to my application for divorce from her lawyer. If she is seeking SS, she will have to file a financial disclosure as well, so lots of info is yet to hit me and that's why I have not retained a lawyer (but seeking lots of info from lawyers as that is free for me).

We looked at:

1) All liquid bank account info (savings, checking, etc)
2) All investments (TFSAs etc)
3) All pensions (on her part) and RRSP info (on my part)

She was aware of a few things (like unvested stock on my part) but since that wasn't an insane amount of money, she didn't really care to split that in half, and since it's not technically 'mine' at the time since it was unvested, then it's arguable. That being said, she was aware of all my stock payout as we were very transparent with each other.

Ultimately though, anything that was in a bank was accessible by both parties and equalized. Yeah I guess she had $1000USD in cash somewhere and I probably had $40CDN somewhere but the courts don't care about that.

Anyways, that is what baffles me. She retained the most expensive lawyer in town who obviously told her what she wanted to hear, and now wants to lawyer up and fight, and i'm sitting here going..."fight for what?". Well, I guess I'll have my answer in 29 days...

In the meantime, I've contacted multiple friends at work who have gone through this. The growing consensus is that they all sought legal advice, but not the traditional manner where a lawyer does absolutely everything for you and you pay a lot of money. I've had a few back and forths with a few lawyers who will work with me, and not for me and that is quite a bit cheaper. I'm willing to spend a lot of money on lawyers but only if it's worth the $. I'm not an invalid and I have time to do research on my own, so we'll see.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2017, 08:11 PM
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Better that she retained a good lawyer than a lousy one. A good lawyer will quickly surmise your financial situation and want to move the file. A desperate, lousy lawyer, would 'blow smoke up her arse' and try to drag the thing out just to maximize billable hours (not that you shouldn't keep a close eye on the purse strings with a senior lawyer).

From a strategic point-of-view it is good that SS has not been raised. Don't raise it. Don't acknowledge it even if it comes in a letter from opposing counsel. That's pretty important.

Full financial disclosure for both of you will be required at some point. So start working on this (call it your "budget" if that makes you feel better). List your assets and short and long-term liabilities (joint and personal). I'd do a spread sheet and have one column from date of separation and the other current y/t/date. The current y/t/d one can later be extrapolated as a budget for future negotiations if needed.

Close the joint bank accounts immediately if you already haven't done so.
A competent lawyer would advise her to get her hands on as much cash as possible.

You don't "pay for her lawyer" - rather you make a settlement and what she chooses to do with the money is her business. Don't get sucked into that.

Friends are good to go out for beers with. Keep your personal life your personal life. If you need legal advice, hire a lawyer. Don't be arrogant in thinking that you can simply hone up on some research and be at the same speed as a lawyer who studied and graduated from law school and who has been practicing law for 15 years. Cudos to those who have successfully self-represented but it aint easy as you will see when you have to start filing the proper documentation.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2017, 08:57 PM
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Thanks Arabian.

1) Joint accounts have been closed since separation
2) Have my lawyer of choice lined up and will most likely retain him and have a meeting with another in case choice #1 falls through

After speaking with another lawyer today, even if the separation agreement is valid and a judge does not overturn it, I was told that a ex-spouse still has the right to seek SS, even if she waived it in the separation agreement.(which she did) I will also say that a judge may not find that fair (waiving SS) so this point is definitely arguable and is probably what she wants.

---------

Question 1:
Why is a financial disclosure required on my part at all? If it comes down to a SS payment (lump sum or monthly), don't I just have to agree to it and pay it?

Ultimately it is my lawyers' belief that the separation agreement is enforceable and if my ex wants to overturn that she'll have to take it all the way to a judge.

Therefore I'm not sure why I have to do a formal financial disclosure if it comes down to a SS discussion - I get that my last 3 years worth of tax returns are necessary and I have to be able to pay it (e.g. most recently paystub and YTD info), but not sure why I have to do a full financial disclosure (by way of the form?)

Question 2: I have been told that the SS payment is done via a guidelines and that it will be based on the difference between my income and hers (based on our 2016 tax returns). If that's the case, why do I keep on hearing that "because she makes more now (in 2017), it'll help me? If it's all based on 2016, who cares about 2017?

Thanks
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