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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 09-22-2015, 05:54 PM
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Default Would doubling your income count as Material Change?

In short, signed SA last Nov. Paying ex34 CS & SS, CS to be reviewed yearly (we were supposed to start exchanging financials this June, she never submitted hers) but SS is locked in for 7 years at set amount. SA states the only way around this is a material change in circumstances.

7 months later she lands a new job, I don't have anything concrete but all things point to this new job paying roughly double the amount that was used when signing SA (35K to 70K)

If this is actually the case would this doubling of her income constitute a material change and be worth pursuing when the time is right?
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:45 PM
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Yes most likely, however, it might be cheaper for you to simply send her lawyer a letter indicating that it has come to your attention that their client's income has substantially increased...you are therefore requesting financial disclosure (including pay stubs) and suggesting they agree to consent Order to alter payment. However, it would not be unreasonable for the lawyer to object as the client may not have passed the probationary period of the new position. Failing that you simply wait till next June and everything gets adjusted retroactively.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:59 PM
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Could you have known she would double her salary?
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:54 AM
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Yes I guess I'd have to wait until I at least know the job specifics...

How could I have known her salary would double? Granted it's obvious she played the poor little girl I need 10 years of support routine to get what she wanted, meanwhile given her age, education and employability she could do just fine on her own, as demonstrated in less than a year.
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:27 PM
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How long has it been?

What was your family income at the time of marriage?

What was her role/sacrifice during the marriage?

What is the custody arrangement?

What was her income at seperation time?

How much are you paying now?

What was her career path before the marriage?
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by failed@life View Post
Yes I guess I'd have to wait until I at least know the job specifics...

How could I have known her salary would double? Granted it's obvious she played the poor little girl I need 10 years of support routine to get what she wanted, meanwhile given her age, education and employability she could do just fine on her own, as demonstrated in less than a year.
Well, if this was "obvious" and you knew all of the above at the time you signed the agreement, there's not really a material change in circumstances since the signing of the agreement, is there? Especially if it's been less than a year since you signed it.

If she's earning a lot more money, your CS payments should decrease once you exchange financial information (I assume you have an offset CS arrangements and that's the reason for the annual exchange of info), but unless the SS payments were explicitly tied to her earnings, you're probably stuck with the payments. You can send her a letter proposing they be lowered, but the "change of circumstance" card isn't really one that you can play.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:45 AM
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Really, don't think so? What does it take then? Another point I would argue is the change in custody = increased costs... At time of signing ex would have D7 Mon-Thurs (my work sched), I would have her Fri-Sun. I was able make arrangements with work so I could modify my hours and get week/week. Now I have added daycare costs esp. summertime which didn't exist when finalizing SA. (now she refuses to acknowledge that daycare is S7 and that she has to pay her share, I email her after every bill and she just keeps ignoring) S7 in our case isn't even proportional to income but 75/25, another bonus for her. None of it is arguable as material change?
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:31 PM
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As I understand it, a "material change in circumstances" is something which could not have reasonably been foreseen at the time you signed the agreement. So someone having an unexpected health crisis which makes them unable to work might be a material change, or a sudden economic downturn in their field, or something like that. If, as you say, your ex is educated and employable and you knew that at the time of separation, one could argue that it would be foreseeable that she might go back to work and get a good job. It sounds like this is a case where a stay-at-home parent is re-entering the workforce (or ramping up from part-time to full-time): this is also normal and foreseeable, especially as kids get older.

The fact that this has come about only seven months after you signed also suggests that this is a foreseeable change, it's not like years have passed and many things have happened since the agreement was made.

So while you may want to find ways to reduce your SS, I don't think a "material change" is the way to go. You would have trouble demonstrating that at the time of the agreement, you could not have foreseen that she would put her education to use in the workforce. You could try a letter seeking to lower SS on consent, but the likelihood of that working is pretty low.

Come next June, you'll get a break on the CS with your ex's new income, but I'm not sure what you can do about SS. If it was locked in at a set amount for a set number of years, and there's no mention about her income being a condition of receiving SS, you may just have to pay out what you agreed to.

(If the SS was compensatory in nature (that is, she was awarded SS in compensation for staying home with the kids and not advancing in a career while she was married), what happens after the marriage (going back to work, full time, etc) is almost completely irrelevant because the SS is meant to compensate for what happened during the marriage).
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:38 PM
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Don't underestimate compensatory spousal support.

You literally owe her money for staying home - no matter what happens after the divorce. Its like paying her for a job....
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:06 PM
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But she wasn't a stay at home parent, she always worked, she just happened to get a better paying job in the same field. I don't understand why "material change" would only count when someone's income takes a dive, why not the other way around? We agreed to the SS amount because she made X and I made X. (no court was involved) We agreed to S7 ratio for the same reason. I'm not talking about small yearly fluctuations in income here...

Also what about not disclosing incomes? We were supposed to start this June, I submitted mine but she didn't, mostly because she didn't declare her business income/didn't pay taxes, also because she made more than what she estimated she would for 2014, which would decreased the CS but she wants to keep the gravy train rolling as long as possible. I know this because she pulled a fit and yelled obscenities at the tax accountant's wife after she told ex she had no business seeing my tax return this spring, he was so unimpressed you could say he "looked the other way" when her info was on the screen when I went for a meeting with him...

She won't declare her income, she refuses to pay her share of S7, the money flows just one way it's so frustrating...
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