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Old 07-18-2015, 09:46 PM
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Default Spousal Support - wife on social assistance

I came across this ruling by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Long term marriage (25 yrs). Wife on social assistance. Does husband have to pay SS which would be subject to a claw-back and wouldn't improve the wife's overall standard of living?

Judge rules " .... it is not the state’s obligation to support Ms. Hubley when her spouse has the ability to pay support. "


https://www.canlii.org/en/ns/nssf/do...005nssf19.html



BTW - someone had asked about this topic within the past month or so, thus my reason for this thread.
I see the order is from 2005 yet I have not seen any other order which would counter this position.

Last edited by arabian; 07-18-2015 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:26 PM
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Like i said, privatized welfare...
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:38 AM
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So my wife went into socialized housing, gets a monthly cheque $625 I believe and is getting school paid for.

She worked straight full time for the past seven years. In the last two prior to separation she ran a business and earned $35,000 in each year.

She got into the social housing very quickly based on an accusation of abuse but no agency can verify it...not OCL, CAS or Police. In fact OCL says she lacks credibility.

So I have read very similar case law. One stating something to the effect - if the state feels she is deserving of social assistance then she is.

So it seem as though if she is receiving benefits anything I say about underemployment just doesn't matter.

How can I fight this? She is fully capable of earning a living 100%. This is no wounded little bird - its just plain fraud.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:18 AM
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Normally I think you would go for imputed income. However, if your ex is in school full-time (to improve her employability) then you might not be successful right away. You could counter that your ex should have to prove how her current studies will help her to become self-sufficient. Judges aren't stupid and are highly educated. They know the difference between a nose-picking cosmetology course and a legitimate degree program.

People will of course continue to get freebie housing unless their situation is challenged. You have documentation to prove her recent & relevant past income. $35,000.00/year for a business isn't a great deal of money as she could legitimately claim business expenses. If your ex's past employment history is that of multi-level marketing (Amway eg.) then you'd have a difficult time proving self-sufficiency IMO. Everything is considered (nature of income, frequency of receiving pay, etc.). Someone who makes money on an infrequent basis (sporadic commission) can hardly pay the rent & bills on time.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:48 AM
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Ok I am glad you know something about this Arabian.

I can indeed prove she had earned that money. The tricky part as you say with reference to legitimate business expenses is that I paid for all the major expenses myself. It was a home-day care. She did gross $35,000. But there was probably less that $5,000 (which I can audit from her bank accounts) in actual money outlaid in real expenditures.

I paid for rent, heat, hydro, etc etc. She used all of these to claim against her taxes so she showed only $12,000 in income to the CRA.

So here is where I am a bit confused...on one hand its very clear that she had disposable income from the $35,000 which is clearly deposited in her accounts in 2011,2012 (steady income). She spent or moved the vast majority of it. For example in 2012 - she spent $9,800 on credit cards (frivolous stuff - non-essential) and wired $22,000 out of the country. So clearly that was pure profit which I can prove in court.

On the other hand, does a business get to claim for the purposes of establishing her earnable money that she would have otherwise had rent costs and such for the business?

Then on a totally different front I figure I should just argue "What she is capable of earning" because from 2006-2010 she worked at Shopper Drug Mart as a cosmetics person, Freeman Shoes, TD Bank and several other stores on a full time basis. She even supported herself (lived on her own) prior to us getting married.

So she is certainly capable of earning between $25,000-$30,000

So your thoughts are very helpful for me...nature of income is good, and frequency was consistent both prior to running the business and while running it in 2011/2012/2013

Oh one other thing...in those years 2011/2012 she took off for three months each year to visit family (avoiding our winters). So she just shut the business down and restarted it. So the $35,000 pro-rated would be $45,000. I think I could reasonably make that argument.

Anyways any thoughts you have is very very welcomed!
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:06 AM
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Well then she might be considered to have operated a "seasonal business" which is fine as income is income. If you have all the documentation to prove this then you are leaps and bounds ahead of many other people who separate and then find themselves in the merry-go-round of requesting full financial disclosure.

What people don't understand (but judges certainly do but wait for you to show) is that what CRA considers a credit for determining taxable income is usually totally irrelevant when determining income for self-employed individuals. My experience has been that "reasonable business expenses" are deducted. I had a trucking company so naturally things such as fuel and maintenance were legitimate business expenses. Use and maintenance of personal vehicles was not (while it was allowed by CRA for tax purposes). So you have a home business with very little expenses. A portionof phone and utilities may be allowed but proportionate to square footage that the daycare occupied. In that case the CRA regulations (on square footage of home business) would be allowed. The onus would be on your ex to prove legitimate business operating expenses. Kinda hard for her.

Worst case scenario would probably, in my opinion, would have her imputed at minimum wage (20k).

If you don't ask you don't get. Just be sure to have a well-laid out, easy-to-understand spreadsheet with accompanying bank statements, pay statements and tax returns and NOAs for at least 3 years prior to separation.

She could be claiming mental stress for a myriad of reasons (which you have no control over) to get the social assistance. I don't know how those people determine who is and is not eligible. Sometimes all they need to produce is a doctor's letter saying they are unable to work. Dunno.

You are best to challenge the things that you have concise documentation on IMO.
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