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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 01-10-2006, 12:35 PM
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Default Spousal Support/Overtime

I Have two Questions, the first is in regards to spousal support. My ex wife hasn't returned two work since the birth of my son back in August 2000. She collected maternity pay and never returned to her job.
I now will have to pay spousal support,. My question is, if my wife decides never to go back to work will I be obligated to pay forever. I ask this because I know that she has no intention of returning to work. Further since she left me back in March 05, she has done nothing.
My second question is in regards to overtime hours worked. I went to my lawyer yesterday and she requested information about how much overtime I did in the last three years. My ex is saying I'm not doing anymore overtime and if I do any overtime I'm taking it as time off. Am I required to work extra time if I know mentallyI can't do so. It was different when I had my family, I now have been torn apart and don't feel like spending anymore time than I have to at work? Can the judge order me to work extra?
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:22 PM
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In determining how long to award spousal support, a judge is going to look at the totality of factors affecting you and your wife, not just the fact that your wife doesn't want to work. Some things a judge will look at will be the length of your marriage, whether the children are in school full-time, what your wife's skills and education are and how easy it is for her to get another job or how much retraining she'd need to do, how the marriage may have impacted her career, etc.

That being said, it's rare that a judge will set a definite end date for spousal support. If your marriage has not been a long-term one, often there will be a review clause for spousal support. This will state that after a particular amount of time, the situation regarding spousal support can be looked at again without the necessity of showing that your (or her) financial situation has changed. At the review, your ex will need to show what sort of efforts she has made to find employment. If she hasn't done anything, a judge can impute income to her; that is, the judge can award the amount of spousal support that would be awarded as if she were working at a job in her field.

Regarding overtime, if you've been working a significant amount of overtime consistently for the last 3 years, there's a good chance that the amount of child and spousal support you need to pay will be based on your income including overtime. This is especially so as your child(ren) will likely already be experiencing a drop in income due to the separation; a cut in your salary due to less overtime will harm your child(ren) even more. However, if you can produce medical or other strong evidence that you aren't able to continue with overtime as you did in the past, that may change things.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:31 PM
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Are there any "magic numbers" used by Judges to define a long term/short term marriage? i.e. 5, 10, 15 years?

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Old 01-10-2006, 10:14 PM
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Thanks Jeff, at the moment my wife is living in a subsidized building, She left me after a 9-year marriage. My daughter is nine years old and going to school full time, my son is 5 and he's in senior kindergarten, he goes half days. I know I will have to pay my wife spousal support, However, giving her 50 percent of my income would make it very difficult for me to survive. Especially if she doe not go back to work. What can I do if she just doesn't make any attempt to re-educate herself or find an employment?
In regards to overtime, If the judge rules my child support and spousal support on my last three year tax returns and then next year I don't do as much because it's not offered how can I have my payments for spousal and child support reduced.
Can I supply the courts with my wife resume?
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:03 PM
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Default Spousal Support and Length of Marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace
Are there any "magic numbers" used by Judges to define a long term/short term marriage? i.e. 5, 10, 15 years?

Thanks
Grace
Not really. The spousal support guidelines call marriages of ten years or more a "longer marriage". That's probably a rough guideline of what judges would consider a long-term marriage. I'm not sure much really turns on the exact characterization though - I don't think that the results in a case where the marriage was 9 years would be significantly different than the results in a case where the marriage was 10 years (assuming everything else was pretty much the same in the two cases).
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:16 PM
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Default Spousal Support

Quote:
Originally Posted by FPI
Thanks Jeff, at the moment my wife is living in a subsidized building, She left me after a 9-year marriage. My daughter is nine years old and going to school full time, my son is 5 and he's in senior kindergarten, he goes half days. I know I will have to pay my wife spousal support, However, giving her 50 percent of my income would make it very difficult for me to survive.
Support obligations can be high. I did a sample calculation towards the bottom of the page here:
http://www.a1-ontario-divorce.com/howmuch.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by FPI
Especially if she doe not go back to work. What can I do if she just doesn't make any attempt to re-educate herself or find an employment?
Initially, you'll be paying support based on the current situation of your wife not working. But in most cases, your wife would be expected to re-enter the work force (unless she's older or has a physical disability, etc.) at some point in the future. If she doesn't, the judge will likely base spousal support on what she could have been earning had she gone back to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FPI
In regards to overtime, If the judge rules my child support and spousal support on my last three year tax returns and then next year I don't do as much because it's not offered how can I have my payments for spousal and child support reduced.
You should get written confirmation from your company that in the next year, you won't be offered as much overtime and an explanation as to why it is suddenly no longer available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FPI
Can I supply the courts with my wife resume?
Yes, you definitely should. The court will be looking at both your work history and her work history. A lot will depend on what your wife's field of employment was. Some things are easy to start again, others aren't, some are next to impossible.
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:29 PM
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Thank You Jeff, You have been very help full. I guess On February 22,06 when I attend my first Case Conference I will be ordered to pay Spousal Support to my ex. I hope a miracle happens and I don’t have to pay her for the rest of her life. That’s what she would like. She’s only 46 years old. Just five years ago she was employed as a data enter clerk.

There should be time limits for Spousal Support; I listened to a recording from a Texas family Lawyer. He states Spousal Support (Maintenance as it’s called there) can only be for a maximum of three years. That makes more sense then our system. The problem with our system is that it make’s it easy for the Spouse who’s getting the support to stay home. Why would they go to work when their getting more money then they would make if they worked. I know the Spousal Support I have to pay my ex will kill me financially. Who knows where I’ll end up? Hopefully not on welfare.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:43 PM
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FPI,

An order for spousal support would not happen at a Case Conference. A case conference is more for you and your lawyers to get in front of the Judge to see if they can help narrow the issues. If you can't then you will proceed to a "Motion" and an interim spousal support order would be made at that time.
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