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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 03-06-2007, 02:23 PM
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Default what is "withdrawing my answer" and other questions

I have a couple of questions I was wondering if anyone can answer for me:

The process went way too fast for me and I fear I was pressured into signing a separation agreement at our last case conference. Later I found out a number of things that have me questioning whether I did the right thing. Now I am being pressured by my lawyer to sign a property release and withdrawal of my answer so my husband can proceed with his divorce.

At the Case Conference I brought up a couple of issues:
• Tax fraud – my husband claimed to pay my son (now 19) wages of $4,500 last year through the business he runs “part-time”. I had to pay CRA $880 because of this as I was disallowed the full deduction. He did not pay this amount to my son. When I discussed this with my lawyer, she told me that income splitting was allowed. I also brought this up in a meeting with my lawyer, my husband and his lawyer, where my husband admitted that he did not pay this income to my son. Nothing was done about this at all. He has reduced his income for the last 4 years (at least) by claiming that he was paying an income to our children when in fact he hasn’t. Even CRA wasn’t interested when I called them – they told me my son would have to appeal his tax return and I didn’t want to place him in a bad situation with his father.
My question is: Is there anywhere that I can bring this up that it would make a difference or should I just leave it alone?
• Investment property – In 1999 my husband invested in property in Arizona that allowed him a substantial write-off for tax purposes. In his sketchy financial disclosure he stated that it was an “initial investment of $25,000” – but I never saw a paper that disclosed the complete amount invested, nor did I see anything stating what it was “sold” for after our separation. Since the case conference I have found documents that show that it was purchased for $69,500 US and that he was reducing his income by approximately $7,000 per year (in addition to the $4-5,000 by paying an income to our children)
My question is: My lawyer tells me that it would be far more costly to pursue this than what it is worth. Is it worth my while to go into this further and how would I re-open this can of worms?

Also, what is the whole process of the “answer” and what does it mean? My answer stated and refuted some of his claims, by withdrawing it, am I effectively saying that I agree with his claims??? My lawyer tells me that this is just process and doesn’t really mean much.

I am so confused – I don’t want to get stung again… I’m saddled with a $35,000 line of credit (my share) that I “took his word on” and after finding out all of these inconsistencies after signing the agreement at the case conference I’m leery to sign off on my answer and final property release as this may be my last chance to fix anything.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2007, 03:11 AM
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oldog,

Welcome to the forum,

as you mentioned,

Quote:
The process went way too fast for me and I fear I was pressured into signing a separation agreement at our last case conference. Later I found out a number of things that have me questioning whether I did the right thing. Now I am being pressured by my lawyer to sign a property release and withdrawal of my answer so my husband can proceed with his divorce.
It appears your not comfortable with what happened and you may 2nd guessing the advice your lawyer has give you. I believe if a person is not comfortable in signing anything they don't understand to take time and review same. Sometimes seeking another professional opinion with an independent lawyer helps and may be worthwhile to spend a nominal fee. If anything this would give you a peer review.

Quote:
Tax fraud – my husband claimed to pay my son (now 19) wages of $4,500 last year through the business he runs “part-time”. I had to pay CRA $880 because of this as I was disallowed the full deduction. He did not pay this amount to my son. When I discussed this with my lawyer, she told me that income splitting was allowed. I also brought this up in a meeting with my lawyer, my husband and his lawyer, where my husband admitted that he did not pay this income to my son. Nothing was done about this at all. He has reduced his income for the last 4 years (at least) by claiming that he was paying an income to our children when in fact he hasn’t. Even CRA wasn’t interested when I called them – they told me my son would have to appeal his tax return and I didn’t want to place him in a bad situation with his father.

I am not clear why you would pay the $ 880 full deduction. Are you referring to the eligible Dependant amount as listed on line 305 of your return?

Quote:
My question is: Is there anywhere that I can bring this up that it would make a difference or should I just leave it alone?
Well yes of course. Before you do anything that they want from you you could request to have the matter straightened out if your not comfortable or compensate you the addition 880 dollars that you now have to pay.

Quote:
• Investment property – In 1999 my husband invested in property in Arizona that allowed him a substantial write-off for tax purposes. In his sketchy financial disclosure he stated that it was an “initial investment of $25,000” – but I never saw a paper that disclosed the complete amount invested, nor did I see anything stating what it was “sold” for after our separation. Since the case conference I have found documents that show that it was purchased for $69,500 US and that he was reducing his income by approximately $7,000 per year (in addition to the $4-5,000 by paying an income to our children)
My question is: My lawyer tells me that it would be far more costly to pursue this than what it is worth. Is it worth my while to go into this further and how would I re-open this can of worms?
It appears that you may be entering into some form of separation agreement to settle the issues. To validate the separation agreement full and frank financial has to occur between the parties.


Quote:
Also, what is the whole process of the “answer” and what does it mean? My answer stated and refuted some of his claims, by withdrawing it, am I effectively saying that I agree with his claims??? My lawyer tells me that this is just process and doesn’t really mean much.
Your Answer is the court document that is required to be served and filed into the continuing record. The other party started the case by completing serving and filing an Application. An Answer can refute their claims and additionally make your own claims. For the case to proceed both documents have to be in the continuing record.

I'm not clear why they want you to withdraw your complete Answer, as you can always amend same.

There are some down loadable on line guides to court procedures that you may be interested in reading to obtain an idea of the process which can be found here.

http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.o...cj/default.asp

Quote:
I am so confused – I don’t want to get stung again… I’m saddled with a $35,000 line of credit (my share) that I “took his word on” and after finding out all of these inconsistencies after signing the agreement at the case conference I’m leery to sign off on my answer and final property release as this may be my last chance to fix anything.
I don't blame you at all for feeling that way. You could seek an independent lawyer to review what you already signed. Perhaps Jeff may be able to help you out with that if that is the route you go. If anything you would get a piece of mind that everything is being done right.


Jeff can be reached at

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/contact.htm

Behrendt Law Chambers
180 Metcalfe Street, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1P5
Telephone: 613-598-0020
Facsimile: 613-598-0040

E-mail: Behrendt@OttawaDivorce.com


lv

Last edited by logicalvelocity; 03-08-2007 at 03:18 AM.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2007, 10:57 AM
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Default error in judgement

It appears as though I have made a gross error in judgement in taking my lawyer's advice and signing the document I signed at the last Case Conference.
Here is the information that I just received from them:


[I]The Final Minutes of Settlement that were executed and filed in Court on
October 4, 2006 was a final settlement of all your financial and
property related issues. Through much negotiation, we reached a
settlement of $74,000 as your equalization payment. That amount was a
compromise between both positions so that this matter could be
finalized, as neither of you have the financial resources to proceed on
to trial. You have to do a costs/benefits analysis here. If at the end
of the day it is going to cost you more in legal fees to fight this and
drag it out, then from a costs/benefits standpoint it might be better to
just accept the settlement which was negotiated and move on. I can
tell you that if you are going to challenge this than this matter is
definitely heading to trial. Equalization of property is a triable
issue. Which means that if the parties cannot negotiate a satisfactory
division of their net family property, then this is an issue that needs
to be tried. This is not something that a judge can make a final
determination of on a Motion. Trials can cost you up to $50,000.00
depending on the number of and the complexity of the issues involved.

Further to the Final Settlement that was reached in court that day, both
you and your husband are required to sign Mutual Property Releases. This
basically states that the two of you have divided all your property to
your mutual satisfaction and that neither of you will make a claim
against the other, now or in the future, for any division of or share in
the other's property.

Your Withdraw of your Answer was part of the Final Settlement. The
Court Order of October 4, 2006 dealt with all the outstanding issues on
a final basis, other than the divorce. However, neither of you are able
to obtain a Divorce unless you Withdrawal your Answer. Once you do
that, your husband may proceed to get the divorce because according to the Court
Order, all other issues have been dealt with on a final basis.

In any event, the Final Settlement reached at court that day required
you to sign the Mutual Property Release and to Withdrawal your Answer,
and therefore, you are legally obligated to do so.
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