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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 11-20-2011, 12:07 PM
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Okay, so here's the thing - darling ex-wife has been very reluctant to negotiate or compromise, it's been "her way or the highway" through out in terms of her expectations that I'd just capitulate to her wishes. Anyways, that's not the issue.

The thing is that we have our trial date set for late March.

Settlement conferences and a settlement conference/trial management conference has had no real luck. Well - I shouldn't say that, we have apparently come to an agreement on equalization.

The only issue left is that of spousal. My position is that with her salary of $60k and the fact that I have both the kids, I don't see that she has a need. Her position is a bunch of jello thrown at the wall (but that's just my perspective lol).

During the conferences and filings, I've been just general with my position, I haven't wanted to tip my hand too much, too early. However, I'd really like to get this over with, and if the's reasonable next week, I think that we could. My question is this...am I now at the position where I for the most part show my hand (maybe keeping a couple of things to myself)? My thought being that as we're in the mediation, it will maybe give the lawyer more info to be able truly see my position and if he agrees that I'm not out in left field, maybe that message can be conveyed to her? I'm thinking that from a strategic point of view, it's not a bad thing. I'm tipping my hand a little bit but I would rather take the chance in the hopes that we can come to a settlement. BTW, if it will help...I am offering to pay $200/month for the next couple of years (we had been married for 14 years) and she's asking for $400/month indefinitely (which exceeds the SSAG guidelines).
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:59 PM
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Hi,

What is the SSAG low, medium and high ranges for your situation? If she is asking for an amount that is over the high range, then she is out of the reality ballpark. Is the SSAG's calculated with or without child support?

When it comes to spousal support, the bigger issues are entitlement and for how long, and review clauses. The amount is simply number crunching with the right formula. There is an excellent legal review and recommendation paper on entitlement and duration I believe on the Spousal Support Guidelines website. If you can't find it there. Let me know, and I will hunt around for it.

If you can converge on the amount, duration and review, then you are almost done by the sound of things.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:50 AM
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The amounts are a little variable as there is OT that has to factored into the equations, but generally, it's about $250, 300 and 350. Yes, CS is factored in.

It's an interesting statement that the bigger issue is entitlement and duration. In theory, I agree, but what I see in practice is a little bit different. From my dealings with the justices during the hearings, I have a strong sense that in terms of entitlement, the onus is on me to prove that she isn't, not for her to prove that she is. Meh, that's my big battle I suppose. Still, the intent of my original post was to try to get a sense of how much of my cards do I show to try to facilitate an agreement, but ty for your response!
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:35 AM
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vis a vis entitlement...what affect did the marriage have on her earning ability? Did she lose seniority/working years/etc due to the marriage/kids/etc? Did she turn down any promotions/etc in favor of YOUR job?

To my mind, those would be key. She has to prove entitlement, and unless she made sacrifices over the duration of the relationship, she's not entitled to squat.

If the biggest sticking point is spousal, and you are willing to pay it to end this once and for all, then offer either the lowest amount of spousal for the mid range years. (ie. if you were married 14 years, she should get spousal (IF entitlement is proven) for 7 to 14 years. Offer her the low number for say 10, or the middle number for 7.)

Might be in your best interest to sit down with an accountant and figure out exactly what impact this has on your taxes. Spousal is a tax deduction when paid monthly. Whatever you do, put a hard termination date on whatever offer you make.

I noticed you didn't indicate her age...how old is she?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:48 AM
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She's less than 50 and she doesn't apply under the rule of 65.

I hear you on all of the arguments on entitlement, this is exactly my points. She hasn't suffered, she earns 40% now then when she stopped working, she has not given any evidence of her salary being impacted by staying at home. As a matter of fact, I can show that for someone who does up marketing proposals, she's in the top 5% in that area.

I'll say again that my position is that she hasn't proven any entitlement at all, but that I definitely see a tendency in the courts (based on the justice's comments) that lead me to believe that for all intents and purposes it's up to me to prove she isn't. I gave him my arguments and he's like "yeah i know, but still, spousal support is usually awarded in some form..." sort of thing. Maybe he was trying to soften up my position, I don't know, but if I base this strictly on the SSAG guidelines and the issues of entitelement, there's no question in my mind that I have a strong case.

She's been deducting SS from her CS payments has effectively been getting spousal for the past 5 years, I'm saying that I'd be willing to pay bare minimum for another 3 which I think is more than fair as I really don't think that when she makes $60k she has much need at all.

I've done a preliminary assessment as to how much SS would reduce my taxes, I just went into my 2010 and added in how much she's deducted.
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