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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 02-09-2006, 09:46 AM
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Default Spousal Support

Question-

My ex and I have been living apart 6.5 yrs. She has been living with another guy for the last 2yrs. We've never had any formal agreements but I now want to pursue the divorce. I have been paying child support as per the guidelines from the very beggining. I also moved to a larger city area where I could make a better living.

Now she is threatening to go for spousal support. She is considered disabled because she has diabetes and wasn't managing it very well. She is on government assistance as well.

My question is since she has been living with someone else for an extended period of time, and has never before pursued spousal support even though she claims she saw a lawyer 4 years ago...is she likely to receive it? It won't make her income any different as whatever she gets outside of assistance gets deducted so she always ends up with the same income monthly..

Any help or advice would be great..thanks!
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:46 PM
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I think the longer you wait to make a claim - the weaker it becomes.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:26 PM
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This is an article from the Toronto Star, from June/05:

In family law, no order is ever final
That's what they told us in law school, and here's more proof:

After their divorce, Hynes paid $300 a month in spousal support and $500 for each of their children. When his income as a family physician dropped, he decided to return to school to become a psychiatrist and a court terminated the support payments on the understanding that improving his professional credentials would benefit the family.

Three years ago, with her ex-husband earning approximately $250,000 a year as a psychiatrist, Tierney-Hynes asked to have her support payments reinstated to $11,180 a month, plus a lump sum of $500,000.

Last year, her former husband succeeded in having her claim thrown out of court without a trial. The judge based her ruling on precedents that barred courts from changing orders that terminated or denied support payments.

But in a unanimous decision yesterday, a five-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned that long-standing law. The court ruled that judges now have the power to change court orders that dismiss claims for spousal support, effectively expanding the ability of divorced spouses to return to court to seek payments.

The decision means divorced people in Ontario, who were unsuccessful in their bid for spousal support, can now try to have the decision changed. According to some legal experts, the decision also opens the door to the prospect of court battles years or even decades after a marriage breakdown.

It "means there is really no finality," said Toronto family law lawyer Stephen Grant.

"Now, a court dismisses your claim, circumstances worsen, 20 years go by and you can come back and have another kick at the can," he said yesterday.

I presume this one will be going to the Supreme Court of Canada. For now, it only applies in Ontario, but it could still be persuasive authority in other provinces - especially since the ruling was based on the federal Divorce Act, not provincial legislation.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:49 PM
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I should clarify, there is no order of any kind in place at this time..but I feel that I need to do this as she is starting to be difficult in regards to access to our son..they live 4 hrs away and last time I went to pick up our child she flat out refused because I wouldn't 'loan' her some money. I'd like to have both support and custody orders in place so at least I have some paperwork to back me up in necessary.

Thanks for the help!
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