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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 07-23-2014, 03:56 PM
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Default Mediation & Financial Disagreement

Need some help...

My partner modified his child support back in January based on his unemployment income and provided an arrears cheque for 2013. (He modified according to the agreement for June 2013 and it was less than his actual income so he recalculated.)

His ex disagreed and cashed the modified cheques but not the arrears. She then filed their agreement with FRO for an amount from 2012. Because that amount was just $5 more than the table amount for his income, he isnt concerned. He cant do anything with FRO.

Today he got an email from his ex requesting they attend mediation to reach an agreement on cs AND requesting info on his job search and resume. She states that their agreement requires they attend mediation when they cant agree.

This is strange to me. Is mediation used for this? Does he have to do this? She has a pattern of disagreeing with everything. They failed mediation the first time. Added to that, shes expecting him to travel four hours (there and then four hours back) and pay part of mediation and hes unemployed. Further, its with FRO, they cant change it unless she withdraws the file so really, even if they do mediation they still need a court order for FRO. And since when does someone have to provide job search info?

Thoughts? Suggestions on how to respond?
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:58 PM
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Sorry I should add when he finds work he'll advise her of his new income and child support amounts and she would have to do the motion to change.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
And since when does someone have to provide job search info?
I've seen this in other judgements,
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:20 PM
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But that was ordered by a judge yes?
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:26 PM
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But that was ordered by a judge yes?
Yep, she can ask for whatever she wants - you can just say no.
However she might be thinking about filing a motion to impute income on the basis he is purposefully underemployed.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:27 PM
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I just reread his agreement. It mentions disagreement about a "reviewable or variable term"in the agreement to seek mediation.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:42 PM
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Mediation is voluntary and on consent. Part of the good faith in mediation is each party contributes to the cost. Any good mediator will have a sliding fee scale for each party to contribute. They are typically very fair rates given the individual's income situation. It also is an attempt so that neither party is wasting the others time or money.

Your bf is accountable financially to his former spouse for his children via CS. Yes he isn't working, but he still has a responsibility to contribute to his kids. She has asked for info relating to his employment search as she has an interest in his employment as I'm assuming he isn't paying CS right now?

Now, I don't think I'd give my resume or proof of job searches per say (that sounds like a job in itself) and he is not legally (yet anyhow) obligated to provide that info. But I would encourage him to provide reassurance with an overview of his job search efforts.

Interesting you state: she has a pattern of disagreeing with everything. I'm sure she'd say the same thing for him lol.

You don't have to pursue mediation. Court is the next step. Mediation is good way to try and resolve issues and gain insight to each others perspectives. It may be what you need to reach a decision.

"She states the agreement says they have to go through mediation"....the agreement either states it or it doesn't. which is it? I believe your last post says it does. I still bring this up is FACTS and TERMS of CONTRACTS (your SA or Order) are paramount. Maybe your bf/you don't understand the terms of his agreement as it pertains to CS?
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Part of the good faith in mediation is each party contributes to the cost. Any good mediator will have a sliding fee scale for each party to contribute. They are typically very fair rates given the individual's income situation. It also is an attempt so that neither party is wasting the others time or money.
Their agreement states 50/50. And the mediator she has asked for is more expensive than a mediator in the town we live in. (Big city = big $$$)

Quote:
Your bf is accountable financially to his former spouse for his children via CS. Yes he isn't working, but he still has a responsibility to contribute to his kids. She has asked for info relating to his employment search as she has an interest in his employment as I'm assuming he isn't paying CS right now?
He's paid all along. When I say he adjusted last year and recalculated arrears I mean that when they updated at tax time his CS amount went down because his 2012 income was less. He got a higher paying job late in 2012. He recalculated what he was supposed to be paying based on his actual income for the year and then provided CS based on his EI income. The arrears cheque was separate. She cashed all the EI income CS cheques but didn't agree to the arrears. She then filed with FRO. He now pays FRO on the first of the month.

Quote:
Interesting you state: she has a pattern of disagreeing with everything. I'm sure she'd say the same thing for him lol.
He's actually agreed to things his lawyer said no to. And he's also provided extra money and didn't dispute stuff. When I say she has a pattern, I mean she has a pattern. She walked out of initial mediation because she didn't believe he had a right to any equalization. The mediator just shrugged and wished my partner good luck in court.

Quote:
"She states the agreement says they have to go through mediation"....the agreement either states it or it doesn't. which is it? I believe your last post says it does. I still bring this up is FACTS and TERMS of CONTRACTS (your SA or Order) are paramount. Maybe your bf/you don't understand the terms of his agreement as it pertains to CS?
Agreement states if they can't agree to reviewable or variable terms they will try to resolve the dispute through negotiaton. If they can't agree within 28 days they will try mediation first and then by court application. He updated CS based on the law because he was wrong about the amounts in 2013 and provided the proper amounts via arrears cheque. His lawyer told him no matter what the agreement states, if income changes, he has an obligation to his ex to provide the updated information and payment. This is why if he gets a job say tomorrow and starts working next week, his legal obligation is to provide her with the updated information and money. Because they're with FRO, she would have to file a MTC and he would provide the back payments dating to the time he started working.

This is the draft response:

The separation agreement has been filed with the Family Responsibility Office and therefore not applicable for dispute resolution. Changes to child support amounts must be modified via a motion to change.
fficeffice" />>>
If you are requesting mediation to determine changes to section 7 amounts, you must provide copies of expenses that are either subject to written approval or medical/education related. Should I not agree to my share of these costs, they will then be subject to mediation.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:19 PM
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The real question is, can you do mediation on agreeing to update according to the law? She disagrees with paying based on actual income which the guidelines state. Added to that, the agreement has been filed with fro. Unless she withdraws they cant do anything unless via court order.

Its all so confusing!
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:20 PM
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Agreement states they must use dispute resolution (aka mediation) - fact. What the problem then?

Agreement states he must contribute 50/50 - fact. Again, what's the problem?

Pick 3 mediators - one near her, one near you, one mid way. Pick out of a hat over skype so it's a fair and transparent process.

If the parties come to a new agreement/order on CS or arrears they can file it with FRO.

The fact that she walked out previously on mediation is somewhat irrelevant. Your bf agreed and signed an agreement that states he will pursue alternative dispute resolution services... she can walk out again. He could this time. Point is, you have to try and then you can go to court and say "mediation wasn't successful".
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