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Old 07-01-2017, 12:06 PM
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Default Self-Sufficiency- Interpretation of Moge v. Moge

If this should be in a different forum. I apologize, please move it.

I have been reading a lot of case law on spousal support and most refer to Moge v. Moge. So of course I read it.

The Judges explained s. 17(7)(a-d) and their interpretation on it but am I interpreting s.17(7)(d) wrong?

I would like to hear some opinions before I argue my points on s17(7)(d).

S17(7)- An order made under this section that provides for the support of a spouse should (d) in so far as practicable, promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period of time.

It seems to me that the promotion of self sufficiency is being interchanged with obtaining self sufficiency, or aiding in self sufficiency. I have come to understand that this clause is being read that spousal support should be paid until the partner becomes self sufficient but that self sufficiency may not be obtainable so spousal support will be paid indefinitely.

Am I close?

I have come to understand the above but I don't read the clause like that.

The clause states; should promote self sufficiency. Awarding a tidy, indefinite, spousal support does not promote self sufficiency, it hinders it. You don't promote a bar by saying the beer is warm.

The way I read it, the spousal support award should be such that it encourages the partner to become self sufficient. And to that end, the award would have to be adjusted downward. Of course there is the qualifier; in so far as practicable. This is where the judge would have to determine what is a reasonable wage the partner could make. The less the partner can reasonably earn, the less the award would be adjusted downward.

Is my interpretation unreasonable?

So to look at it holistically; S. 17(7)(a) compensates for sacrifices or causes to share advantages which arose during the marriage, (b) compensates for financial obligations from child care, (c) takes care of immediate needs, (d) keeps it all in check.

If one partner stayed at home and lost out on advancement opportunities and the other partner gained opportunities, then spousal support should reflect that. However, subsection (7)(d) is the check that prevents that partner from remaining out of the work force. It is reasonable for one partner to stay home when they are living together, but when there are 2 households to maintain, the stay at home spouse needs to pull some weight, in so far as practicable.

If I were a Judge, this is how I would handle (7)(d); I would consider the first 3 clauses of the subsection. I would have a rough idea where on the SSAG scale the award would land. Then I would determine what wage the partner could reasonable be expected to earn. I would then, in my head, impute an amount which the partner can reasonable be expected to earn. I would make the calculations based on that imputed value. Then I would determine what is a reasonable amount of time to get to that wage and I would scale it over that time. Full support to start then scaled back over time to rest at the final award, which may be indefinite, may be definite, may be an end to support, the first 3 clauses would determine that.

This promotes self sufficiency.

Reasonable? Unreasonable? Or is this how it is done? Any opinions?
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:57 PM
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I thought your ex worked throughout your marriage until such time as she had an accident but received a settlement (presume part of settlement would be for employment replacement?). She then went back to school and retrained and is again working at the same sort of job she had before?

Indefinite support can be awarded but it can be for $1.00/year.

You were married 12 years? She has to show how her role in the marriage damaged her career. It seems to me that the only "damage" was an accident for which she was compensated for.
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:10 PM
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All correct.

Except the same sort of job was temporary and she is now unemployed. She has been applying to different jobs but "just can't seem to find a job"


I am still interested on peoples opinion or interpretation of s.17(7)(d)
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:15 PM
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I will be following this thread.

I was married 23 years. 18 of those years I was a stay at home mother. My husband, a lawyer, was able to build up his practice and earn a nice living. Now he is adamant I be in me "self sufficient". I am 52 and have not worked in an office setting since the internet. I am not very marketable. Of course, whatever money I am able to make he hopes he won't have to pay me as much support.

My research indicates he will most likely pay me support indefinitely.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karma2016 View Post
I will be following this thread.

I was married 23 years. 18 of those years I was a stay at home mother. My husband, a lawyer, was able to build up his practice and earn a nice living. Now he is adamant I be in me "self sufficient". I am 52 and have not worked in an office setting since the internet. I am not very marketable. Of course, whatever money I am able to make he hopes he won't have to pay me as much support.

My research indicates he will most likely pay me support indefinitely.
You are likely correct. He would know this. Yours is a "traditional marriage" and you would be entitled to SS. You supported his career. If you add your age 52 to years married you more than exceed requirements - read up on "rule 65"
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
He would know this.
A short note in response:

Unless the husband practices family law (and particularly if he does not have a litigation practice), he likely knows little to nothing about family law.


Different areas of law are more akin to different branches of engineering rather than different medical specialties. The electrical engineer would not dabble in civil engineering, and vice versa.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:05 PM
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This may be true ^ OrleansLawyer. However, a lawyer tossing around a term such as "self-sufficiency" when referring to his own SS demise, likely has done a summary perusal of the topic. Furthermore, the lawyer has had 23 years to contemplate the matter.

If he doesn't know about it he will soon!
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:54 AM
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Since I first posted this thread, I have done a lot more case law reading. I have seen different interpretations of this clause.

Some interpret it as enough money until they get back on their feet.
Some interpret it as enough money to go back to school or retrain.
Some interpret it as my way, not so much money that there is no reason to become self-sufficient.

I guess refer to the case law that fits your interpretation.

I love Family Law.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:31 PM
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Stay home does not support the other spouse's career. That is a cop-out.

It could equally be stated that the stay home received shelter, food, and anything else provided by the working spouse without having to earn money to help pay for it.

An exception would be if one left school to support the other's education to become a professional and the other was not afforded the same chance.

If both partners work, then both are working and neither is supporting the other. So if one is not working, why are they suddenly the reason the other can work.

Make no sense.

My ex gets 6 figures/year, works part-time after 3rd marriage failed, and I'm still on the hook for another decade.

So because I (not her) had a successful business, she will have got to live off me for roughly 40 years by the end of her SS. Instead of paying her way thru life.

Nice work, if you can get it. Just saying.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piggybanktoex View Post
Stay home does not support the other spouse's career. That is a cop-out.

It could equally be stated that the stay home received shelter, food, and anything else provided by the working spouse without having to earn money to help pay for it.

An exception would be if one left school to support the other's education to become a professional and the other was not afforded the same chance.

If both partners work, then both are working and neither is supporting the other. So if one is not working, why are they suddenly the reason the other can work.

Make no sense.

My ex gets 6 figures/year, works part-time after 3rd marriage failed, and I'm still on the hook for another decade.

So because I (not her) had a successful business, she will have got to live off me for roughly 40 years by the end of her SS. Instead of paying her way thru life.

Nice work, if you can get it. Just saying.
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to SS. Situations vary.

Someone who forgoes a career to stay home and look after children and household, so spouse's career flourishes, has a strong argument for SS IMO.

Piggybank - why do you not consider "lump sum" payout? While you place no value on what your ex did while you were married, you have found out that the court has a different view.
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