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-   -   Thoughts on CS Adjustments - Medical Leave (http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f3/thoughts-cs-adjustments-medical-leave-20938/)

Gilligan 04-11-2017 08:44 PM

Thoughts on CS Adjustments - Medical Leave
 
I have joint custody of my son (13) with a 50/50 time split. As such, I pay offset child support. My ex spouse earns about half my income.

I've been made aware that my ex hasn't been working for the last 2 years and states that she is unable to work because of a medical condition (Lupus). She also states that she isn't sure if she will be able to return to work. She has asked to adjust child support as a result, which will likely result in a significant increase. I am afraid to full table support or close to it. I've yet to get evidence, but she states that she's got a doctors note and is currently receiving long term disability insurance.

My issue is that I've personally experienced my ex abusing the system, where she would constantly find a way to go on short term / long term leave. It was an ongoing issue when we were together and she’s never held a job longterm. I question the legitimacy of this claim as I suspect that she is collecting benefits and possibly working under the table. There has been a lot of behavior that would suggest that her condition doesn’t require her to be away from work, however I’m not a doctor and she’s got a medical note saying otherwise.

My fear however is that if I contest, the courts will see a medical note and an insurer who is currently paying a benefit and will conclude that I must increase my CS as a result. This will result in very little motivation to go back to work (if not legitimate).

If anybody has any suggestions or advice, I would appreciate it.


Thanks

stripes 04-12-2017 12:32 AM

I think if your ex has a doctor's note and has had long-term disability approved, your chances of not having CS adjusted are pretty small, unfortunately.

Berner_Faith 04-12-2017 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stripes (Post 219513)
I think if your ex has a doctor's note and has had long-term disability approved, your chances of not having CS adjusted are pretty small, unfortunately.



I agree with Stripes... it will be near impossible to argue she is willingly underemployed when she has a doctors note and is receiving LTD. You would basically be asking a Judge to rule her underemployed when doctors have ruled she is unable to be employed.

I would maybe try and work this out with your ex... maybe you can work it out so it's not full offset, split the difference type thing. If your support would go up $400 a month try to agree on $200 a month... your expenses haven't changed just because her income dropped.


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arabian 04-12-2017 10:58 AM

It is difficult to deal with people who have a welfare mentality. You aren't going to change them but you can certainly draw a line in the sand and stand up for yourself.

I would most definitely request documentation. A "doctor's note" may satisfy overworked welfare case managers but it may not pass scrutiny of a judge. My ex had plenty of "doctor's notes" and he was pretty much laughed out of the court room each and every time. I would therefore recommend that you get the documentation. You never know if/when it may come in hand in the future, even if you decide to not use it at this time.

A "doctor's note" from a general practitioner is easily argued in court. The family doctor is not a specialist. A letter/report from a specialist is typically generated after specialist has received results from laboratory testing. Unfortunately there are many prescription-happy doctor's out there who simply sign notes for people so they can get government assistance.

Perhaps merely requesting the medical documentation will convey a message to your ex that you aren't a sap. This is one instance where paying a lawyer to send out a simple letter might prove to be beneficial.

I have to say, however, that you went along with this scam in your marriage. It would not serve you very well if you were to state that you stood idly by while your then-spouse milked the system.

Berner_Faith 04-12-2017 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arabian (Post 219520)
It is difficult to deal with people who have a welfare mentality. You aren't going to change them but you can certainly draw a line in the sand and stand up for yourself.

I would most definitely request documentation. A "doctor's note" may satisfy overworked welfare case managers but it may not pass scrutiny of a judge. My ex had plenty of "doctor's notes" and he was pretty much laughed out of the court room each and every time. I would therefore recommend that you get the documentation. You never know if/when it may come in hand in the future, even if you decide to not use it at this time.

A "doctor's note" from a general practitioner is easily argued in court. The family doctor is not a specialist. A letter/report from a specialist is typically generated after specialist has received results from laboratory testing. Unfortunately there are many prescription-happy doctor's out there who simply sign notes for people so they can get government assistance.

Perhaps merely requesting the medical documentation will convey a message to your ex that you aren't a sap. This is one instance where paying a lawyer to send out a simple letter might prove to be beneficial.

I have to say, however, that you went along with this scam in your marriage. It would not serve you very well if you were to state that you stood idly by while your then-spouse milked the system.



I agree with this however this isn't just her being put off work and an employer following Drs orders... if she is receiving LTD then she would require more than a Drs note. He can try to argue but LTD is different than welfare... welfare they often just don't want to work, LTD is where they can't work... there is a difference


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involveddad75 04-12-2017 03:37 PM

I would be requesting documentation on LTD and it's benefits. Even on LTD one is still responsible for financially supporting their children.

Look at from this point of view. Right now you are both payors and payees of child support. If you had your children 100% and your ex went on LTD, then what. Answer that and you will get your answer. The point of the offset is not to reduce ones support obligations but to recognize that both parents need to financial support the children.

Things to look into:
Is the LTD tax deducible? If she paid into it while working then the LTD income in non tax deducible as a result what does $40,000 of LTD (non tax) equate to in an income which is tax deductible? $60,000??? do the math.
If it is LTD which is deducible (more rare) then the amount is the amount whihc should be used to generate the table.

What are the conditions of the LTD, can she work in another position. One who works as a 911 operator can go on LTD for stress related reasons, but that doesn't stop them from then getting a job coaching meditation. They will still collect LTD.

Request and collect all the evidence you can get your hands on, it'll only help you to make a more informed decision.

Gilligan 04-12-2017 10:22 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I do agree that it is unlikely to have any income adjusted in there is a doctors note and if she is receiving LTD. I've requested pertinent information (evidence of her medical condition, etc...) which I think would be required disclosure. But, I've agreed to adjust it on the basis that everything is in order.

My experience so far hasn't been exactly what I expected with regards to us both having a responsibility to support our children (joint custody - 50/50 schedule). Seems that the distinction is support payor and support recipient.

I don't think there is much opportunity to negotiate this matter unfortunately. My ex has been very litigious so far, and refuses to abide by the court order unless it's in her favour for items like Section 7 expenses, schedule, etc... i've concluded that there is little to gain by litigating these matters as the behaviour isn't likely to change.

arabian 04-12-2017 11:42 PM

You are smart to get documentation. One never knows what the future holds. Your ex could slip up in the future and truth may come tumbling out. If that should happen you could have things recalculated.

involveddad75 04-13-2017 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gilligan (Post 219536)
Thanks for all the feedback. I do agree that it is unlikely to have any income adjusted in there is a doctors note and if she is receiving LTD. I've requested pertinent information (evidence of her medical condition, etc...) which I think would be required disclosure. But, I've agreed to adjust it on the basis that everything is in order.

My experience so far hasn't been exactly what I expected with regards to us both having a responsibility to support our children (joint custody - 50/50 schedule). Seems that the distinction is support payor and support recipient.

I don't think there is much opportunity to negotiate this matter unfortunately. My ex has been very litigious so far, and refuses to abide by the court order unless it's in her favour for items like Section 7 expenses, schedule, etc... i've concluded that there is little to gain by litigating these matters as the behaviour isn't likely to change.

I wouldn't be agreeing to the change before you receive satisfactory documentation. Are you in FRO? if you weren't you can reduce the child support payment to cover her portion of Section 7. If you are in FRO, then you need to make it clear to FRO that both of you are support recipients, if the person qualks out this, take it up the chain and make a complaint higher up and have someone else assigned to your file. You just have to keep pushing until they listen. Take it to your mpp if you have to. If FRO won't adjust to cover section 7 then, again complain up the chain.
Lastly if you have the children 50% of the time and if you have two or more children, both of you should be claiming one of the children each as a equivalent to spouse. And wither you have 1 or more children, revenue Canada should be giving you half of the tax credit. Again they will likely push back, provide orders detailing access, and take it to your mpp if they won't listen.

My ex was reassessed back 2 - 3 years and I received a large payday from the government after I got my mpp involved. My ex now understands that I won't sit idlely back and that things will happen fairly with or without her support. Because she won't agree to write a letter, revenue canada went back 3 years, 1 1/2 since separation and 1 1/2 getting them to listen and corrected it back all the way. As I had documentation of 3 years of equal shared parenting.

arabian 04-13-2017 07:20 PM

A very wise post from Involveddad75 - particularly the part about you making it clear to FRO that you are BOTH support recipients.

Heed the free advice you have been given!


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