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Old 09-25-2007, 11:29 AM
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Default Spousal Support Question

I have a question regarding duration of spousal support.

The situation is: Marriage of 13 years with two children. Both spouses worked during the marriage; however, the husband made more than the wife who had only worked part-time. Following the divorce (which was six years ago), the ex-wife continued to only work part-time. Custody, at that time, was 50/50 and both children were in school full-time. Spousal support was awarded.

There was a review two years ago at which time child support was changed as one of the children had moved out on his own (ex-husband provides monthly assistance directly to the son). The ex-wife continued to receive child support for the child still residing with her and her spousal support was increased to offset the fact that she was no longer receiving as much child support (as one of the children had moved out).

A review of spousal support is coming up soon. The ex-wife did not provide proof at the previous review of seeking full-time employment. She claims to not have the education necessary for a full-time job that has as high an hourly wage as her part-time job. However, she is not attempting to re-educate herself. The ex-wife is young (40's) and wasn't the full-time childcare provider during the marriage (responsibilities were shared).

Does anybody have any information on termination of spousal support and on what grounds? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:47 PM
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http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcca/doc...00bcca272.html
This is a case law on retirement and SS.

http://www.canlii.org/en/advancedsearch.html
gG to this and do a search using the key words "Spousal Support" "termination" "Retire" and you will see all variations of applications for termination. Some accepted some not, and all variations of reasons.
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:09 PM
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Default Thanks for Link

Thank you very much for the link to the search engine. From quickly scanning the first 100 or so cases, I didn't see any for a medium-length marriage and spousal support terminating.

However, I did see in one case that a review application is treated differently than an application to vary support and that the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) may be able to be used. I was surprised as I thought the SSAG would only be used for initial applications.

I'm still wondering if anyone has ever had the spousal support end and on what grounds....

P.S. Ex-husband not in a position to retire; at least not for awhile!
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:31 AM
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http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highlig...07onca218.html

This link is to a case where terminiation was granted because the custodial parent failed to obtain employment outside the home to support herself etc. Quote from that case: Section 17(7) of the Divorce Act provides that an order varying a spousal support order, should consider among other factors “(d) in so far as practical, promote the economic self-sufficiency of each former spouse within a reasonable period of time”. The authorities are clear that the judge is to take into account all of the relevant factors set out in s. 17(7).

This is another case based on the same assumption that the ex spouse is expected to seak self sufficiency; http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highlig...nlii12624.html
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:28 AM
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Default Jurisprudence re Self Sufficiency

Thank you again, FL_Needs_To_Change. Those two cases are more similar to my case than others I had referenced.

In the case of a medium-length marriage, where both parties worked, it seems clear to me that spousal support should be of limited quantum/duration to motivate the recipient towards becoming self sufficient. At our upcoming review, we're hoping the judge concurs and encourages the recipient to either upgrade her education or obtain full-time employment (or even better, both!). The jurisprudence, and SSAG, seem to reflect this.

I'd still welcome any thoughts/suggestions from others.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:47 PM
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Default Fair4All

Hi Fair4All,

Love your screen name. I don't know if you have looked at this site or not but here's a bookmark:

http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub...ect/5.html#5.2

A question I would ask is : What is wrong with having two part time jobs to total full time hours? Plenty of people do it. I did to make ends meet. One paid less but both employers worked around each other.

Just a thought,
take care,
Mcbroke
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:37 PM
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Default Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

Thanks for responding, McBroke. My screen name reflects being ever-optimistic

I believe the SSAG would be of benefit to both parties in this case - since they are both young (40's) and the children are largely independent, there could be a termination to SS. However, the judges to date have not focused on the ex-wife's ability to become re-educated, work full-time or even work two part-time jobs. Now that six years has gone by I fear the judge at the upcoming review will feel the ex-wife's time to achieve any self-sufficiency has passed. However, I hope the judge will see that the ex-wife can still realize her potential (remember - ever the optimist) and will set a termination date to motivate her to do so. I don't know why her employment situation hasn't been examined in more detail. At the last conference, the lawyers and judge went behind closed doors so neither party has first-hand experience of what was said.

BTW - ex-wife's daughter took a few years longer than most to finish highschool and is now enrolled in college. She'll likely get a job that pays more than her mother's job and will be self-sufficient. If the daughter can do it, why can't the mother?
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:03 PM
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Default Fair4All

The best lawyers believe nothing unless there is evidence, they do nothing unless ordered. I would suggest you assume the first position. When collecting benefits for unemployment they ask for proof that there has been an effort to seek employment. I would request same from your ex. Not prove that you have fnot found employment but prove that you have been seeking employment, in writing from possible employers. Guide the judges towards that end. Be a Doubting Thomas and keep your optimism at full throttle.

Take care for now,
Mcbroke.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:44 AM
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Default Being an Optimist Finally Paid Off!

Hello all,

I am glad to provide a positive update on the situation I had described back in '07.... Case conference originally scheduled for 2008 pushed back to early 2009 as SS recipient using delay tactics to prolong her "earnings". Fortunately courts recognized her ploy and slapped her hand (had to pay some court costs to payor). Courts also recognized that this individual had not fulfilled her "contractual obligations" to either seek full-time employment or take courses to improve her chances of finding full-time employment. Reminder - this individual had been receiving SS since 2000, so essentially 8 years.... End result: SS has been reduced effective immediately and will terminate (youppi) in a few months.

Question: As per the law, the payor can now seek costs from the recipient and is doing so. As a result, the court agreement will not be finalized for approximately a month. This will result in an overpayment as SS was to have been reduced immediately. Will FRO credit the payor and return this overpayment? Or will SS be further reduced recognizing the overpayment?

BTW - even though SSAG had not been used at the original divorce hearing (in 2000), SSAG had been introduced by the recipient's lawyer at a review in 2006 and, as a result, was able to be used in 2009. Just thought I'd add this as SSAG ended up helping the payor. I had worried that SSAG would not be able to be used. Thank you recipient's lawyer!
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