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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 10-19-2017, 02:31 PM
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Default Simple Separation Agreement Amendment

Hello all, hoping to get a bit of insight into a probably not very common situation but one I'm thankful for nonetheless.

My ex wife and I separated several years ago and filed our own divorce documents with our separation agreement (we wrote and agreed to all terms) and everything was approved and granted by the court - we didn't have to attend.

Without drawing on a very long and complicated financial agreement, my ex basically walked away with all of our assets and equity in our home (to the tune of over 125,000). We agreed at the time of separation that I would pay her table amount support and she would cut me a cheque back for my share of the equity. Recently we have discussed changing this due to a change in both mine and her employment (a decrease for me and increase for her) her suggestion was to amend the agreement to square up that the equity she received will be here solely and that she would accept that in lieu of future support payments. I will still maintain medical coverage for our two children and assist with expenses like extra curricular, school trips, etc. She also wants to allow me to have more time with the kids which is fantastic (we share joint but I'm only every other weekend right now and they reside with her).

If we both agree to all the changes is this just a simple Ammendment to the original document with our signature and witnessed? Does this need to be filed with the courts and if so what might be their viewpoint on the child support/equity change?

Thank you in advance for any assistance!!
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:52 PM
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The court wont agree to no support in a change.

The only reason why you would need this is if your ex does not agree and chooses to file for support through enforcement.

You may (and this is a big if) be able to set up a savings account where she deposits the equity amount and then draws off that for support but she probably doesnt have the money do so.

Bottom line: you cant do this if you plan to bring it forward to the court.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
The court wont agree to no support in a change.

The only reason why you would need this is if your ex does not agree and chooses to file for support through enforcement.

You may (and this is a big if) be able to set up a savings account where she deposits the equity amount and then draws off that for support but she probably doesnt have the money do so.

Bottom line: you cant do this if you plan to bring it forward to the court.
I suppose I figured the court wouldn't accept a change like that. The long and short is she makes a ridiculous amount of money (well over double what I earn a year) and told me she doesn't want my money (again keeping in mind I do share all other costs for the kids so it's not like she is footing full bills on her own that definitely isn't the case). She also said that she felt bad for taking all of the equity in the initial way it worked out and that it was such a pain to remember to keep track of the payments that she really didnt need she was happy to go forward without and would rather see me have money to actually be able to do things with the kids when I have them.

I have no reason to assume ill will as we get along quite well, so can we draft an Amendment and just not file It? Is there any benefit to filing other than it becomes "official"?
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:36 PM
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I think there was a poster on here who wanted to do something similar. I cant remember what happened but the bottom line was he would have to put something in the amendment for the court.

If your ex is reasonable and wont file the agreement with an enforcement agency then you really dont need to amend your agreement. For most, the agreement works when they have to enforce the order. If you dont have that issue, dont worry about.

Or you could simply say you will pay her $50 a month in lieu of the equity transfer and continue to update should income levels change going forward.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:35 AM
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You can agree to anything with the other parent. You don't need a court order or written agreement unless you think/know they are going to break the agreement.

The courts do not want to be involved in your matter. Nor do they have to be. You can solve your problems on your own. No need to involve the court.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:29 PM
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As long as you mutually agree, and have had your mutual agreement reviewed by lawyers so you can prove that you were both aware of the legal ramifications of everything, a judge would probably be happy to rubber-stamp any amendment that keeps you out of a courtroom and isn't causing the children to suffer.

The important thing is to have it all written out and signed and stamped by a judge. That way, you are protected if your ex wants to come back in a couple of years and try to claim you are in arrears for thousands of dollars of CS.

I would recommend doing up a spreadsheet, showing the share of equalization she owed you at the beginning, and the history of how your CS payments and her equalization arrears payments magically matched up before so that no money changed hands. You're basically proposing to continue to do the same thing, no matter what your CS amount may be and extending it indefinitely. What is the remaining equalization arrears anyway? Figure out how long it would take to get it paid back to you at your new CS rate, and how well it matches up to the length your CS obligation would be. What happens financially to the equalization arrears if your CS obligation stops (the kids move in with you, or worst case scenario, die)?

My situation is similar to yours, though without the equalization arrears weirdness. My ex doesn't pay CS. His table amount is minimal compared to my own income, so the money makes a much bigger difference for the children at his house than it would at mine. We agreed at separation to do it this way, wrote that explanation in the joint divorce application, and a judge must have been fine with it because it came back approved.

(Sure, I get a little bitter now and then, especially when he goes on a fabulous exotic trip because he has a spouse now with more income than me, and I'm single, but whatever. The kids have what they need at both houses, which is the critical thing.)
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