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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 01-13-2016, 01:17 PM
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Default Child Support - Children's Choice

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this issue and what the outcome was for you?

Up until last summer I was in a shared custody/shared custodial custody arrangement with my ex. We have a separation agreement/court order going back a few years that stipulates what support amount is to be paid (in my case I pay because I am higher income) and how the children's living arrangements will be...live with each of us 50/50.

A little over two years ago I convinced my new partner to join with me in raising my three children 50/50 with my ex. My partner sold a house on the other side of the City and I sold my house and we bought a new house in my children's school district and settled into what we though would be a 10 year plan. In the mean time my ex moved out of the children's school district.

Relations with my ex have never been good and the main reason I think for that is I landed on my feet after the separation much better than my ex. Also our parenting style differs a lot where I am more about teaching my kids about the realities and consequences of life where my ex is more like a snow plow operator pushing everything out of the way in front of them. About 6 month ago my kids decided not having to learning any coping skills is the easiest route for them, so they decide they wanted to live with my ex full time. Heartbreaking, but what can you do when they are all teenagers who think they know what is best for them?

Now my ex is taking me to court asking for more money (almost double) for child support for have the kids basically 2 weeks more a month! So basically all our financial and emotional investment my partner and I have made is basically for nothing and my ex can unilaterally decide that our separation agreement means nothing? One thing is for sure, if two years ago I knew my kids would bail on us because they like my ex's rules better, I certainly would not be living in a house now set up for raising three kids and all the money that has cost us!

I'm fighting my ex's bid for getting more money on the grounds that my ex cannot demonstrate a "need" for more considering my ex has set up an entire life perfectly fine for years now under the child support that was being given. Also, I am the only one since day one who has been putting money away in the kids RESPs, to the tune of more per month than my support and my ex has done nothing in this regard.

How do you think this will turn out in court?
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Old 01-13-2016, 01:53 PM
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Not well for you...

You are new, basically you figure how much custody time your ex will have which I assume will be over 60% and pay her full child support, shut your mouth and move on.

If you don't like it, you need to get the laws changed.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:00 PM
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Your ex has the kids, so you will have to pay table support.

If you fight it in court, you will have to pay table support, and you will have to pay a costs award.

In a divorce, teenagers are piles of money that can walk to the lousy parent. Being a good parent often literally doesn't pay.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
Not well for you...

You are new, basically you figure how much custody time your ex will have which I assume will be over 60% and pay her full child support, shut your mouth and move on.

If you don't like it, you need to get the laws changed.
I prefer to hear from folks who have gone through the same thing. Your anger at the "system" is based on your experience, which may not be the same experience as mine.

I actually have found the system to be very fair up to this point. I'm just wondering how far that fairness goes?
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Your ex has the kids, so you will have to pay table support.

If you fight it in court, you will have to pay table support, and you will have to pay a costs award.

In a divorce, teenagers are piles of money that can walk to the lousy parent. Being a good parent often literally doesn't pay.
BTW...it's s zero-sum game for me anyway. Every dollar more I have to give to my ex is one dollar less I put in the RESPs anyway. I will not be angry so much as I will be disappointed in the "system" for not sharing my views on the best interest of the children.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by WilsonWilsonWilson View Post
BTW...it's s zero-sum game for me anyway. Every dollar more I have to give to my ex is one dollar less I put in the RESPs anyway.
I am not sure how that matters. You will have to pay education costs whether you have contributed to an RESP or not.

If you give more to the ex and put less in the RESP, you will have to pay more when university comes around.


Quote:
I will not be angry so much as I will be disappointed in the "system" for not sharing my views on the best interest of the children.
For the record, I completely agree with your concept of fairness. However, your ex has custody, and according to family law, fair is that you pay her table support. There is no wiggle room. They don't care why your kids left. They don't care that your ex is a lousy parent. They don't care that you made plans or bought a house or changed your life.

You have the kids less than 40% of the time. By law, you are considered to directly spend a grand total of zero dollars on them. Therefore, you must pay table child support, plus proportional special expenses, because you don't contribute at all in any other way.

Your ex doesn't have to show need. She can stand up in court and say that she fully intends to spend the child support on sex toys for her and her boyfriend, and she will still get table support. Child support is explicitly for the custodial parent to spend as she sees fit.

If you bring this to court, you will get wrecked. Don't confuse justice with fairness.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:23 PM
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Have you talked to a lawyer? Im wondering if this might be a contempt issue with respect to the order for 50/50.

She is obligated to encourage the relationship and perhaps if you can prove that there is no reason for the kids to not live with you it might be a defense.

She has a right to request full support if they are with her more than 60% however she should still be encouraging the relationship.

Talk to a lawyer about it and how you can encourage the kids to keep the living situation the way it is. Obviously they are teens and want more freedom so perhaps you will need to be a bit more flexible.

Dont approach this as a money issue. Or a "i spent all this money and now you are screwing me" situation. What is best for the kids? Does having exposure to both parents create an ideal environment? Are they emotionally mature enough to make this decision? Thats how you need to view it. A judge will listen to them but they will also consider other factors. If it is a case of them not having rules at moms house a judge will see through it. There have been cases where the father has been abusive or attempted to alienate the kids in which case the judge has decided in favour of status quo or full custody. Look on canlii for relevant cases and also speak with a lawyer.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
I am not sure how that matters. You will have to pay education costs whether you have contributed to an RESP or not.

If you give more to the ex and put less in the RESP, you will have to pay more when university comes around.


For the record, I completely agree with your concept of fairness. However, your ex has custody, and according to family law, fair is that you pay her table support. There is no wiggle room. They don't care why your kids left. They don't care that your ex is a lousy parent. They don't care that you made plans or bought a house or changed your life.

You have the kids less than 40% of the time. By law, you are considered to directly spend a grand total of zero dollars on them. Therefore, you must pay table child support, plus proportional special expenses, because you don't contribute at all in any other way.

Your ex doesn't have to show need. She can stand up in court and say that she fully intends to spend the child support on sex toys for her and her boyfriend, and she will still get table support. Child support is explicitly for the custodial parent to spend as she sees fit.

If you bring this to court, you will get wrecked. Don't confuse justice with fairness.
Thanks Janus for your input and I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post. However, I do not agree with you on a lot of what you have said. Reading from the "playbook" I can do myself and can find all this in 2 minutes searching on the internet. I have read more than enough court cases on-line now to know that the "Guidelines" for child support are just that...guidelines. They are a starting point to argue for or against. Parental behaviour plays a big part of it. I know from personal experience with an old neighbour of mine and his situation, but I'm not going into it here.

I looking for someone who has been in the exact situation as me and what happened to them.
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Have you talked to a lawyer? Im wondering if this might be a contempt issue with respect to the order for 50/50.

She is obligated to encourage the relationship and perhaps if you can prove that there is no reason for the kids to not live with you it might be a defense.

She has a right to request full support if they are with her more than 60% however she should still be encouraging the relationship.

Talk to a lawyer about it and how you can encourage the kids to keep the living situation the way it is. Obviously they are teens and want more freedom so perhaps you will need to be a bit more flexible.

Dont approach this as a money issue. Or a "i spent all this money and now you are screwing me" situation. What is best for the kids? Does having exposure to both parents create an ideal environment? Are they emotionally mature enough to make this decision? Thats how you need to view it. A judge will listen to them but they will also consider other factors. If it is a case of them not having rules at moms house a judge will see through it. There have been cases where the father has been abusive or attempted to alienate the kids in which case the judge has decided in favour of status quo or full custody. Look on canlii for relevant cases and also speak with a lawyer.
Thank you for your input. Thankfully I also know already a lot about what you are saying and about "parental alienation" and I've been putting a good case together in this regard. I have 9 reference letters from friends and family about what has been going on and I have also read "Divorce Poison" by a well read child psychologist.

I have read dozens of court case like you suggest, but just can't seem to find a situation like mine, although I'm sure there are plenty out there. But I also know that a court matter only gets reported on when it becomes an actual court case and if the just/legal way to proceed is very cut and dry, it ain't going to make it into a court room before someone gets the message.

I'm just looking for someone that has been in my situation and how did it turn out?
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:20 PM
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You may not find someone with a similar situation. Most people here have been fighting for access.

I suggested a lawyer because youll need one for the support order argument. You have an order for 50/50. She will have to explain why it has changed and why she is not enforcing the shared custody. Get yourself some legal advice.
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