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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 11-16-2016, 12:34 PM
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Unhappy FRO enforcement, how screwed am I?

  • Married 2011, Separated 2014, Divorced 2015
  • One child (s4) 39.5/60.5 in favor of ex, joint legal custody
  • Her income 80k, mine ~14k (imputed @ 25k)
  • Support (to her) $200 child,~$225 s7 (monthly)
I'm 3 months behind on support payments and my ex has just informed me that she's filed our separation agreement with the FRO. I lost my old job before the separation and struggled to find work while dealing with depression and other medical issues after the divorce while living off a small lump sum property/spousal settlement. Found a 1 bedroom apartment, my son gets the bedroom and I sleep on the couch.

Aside from a few shifts a year from my old job, I didn't have income for a while, and when my support ran out and I was facing eviction, I had to go on Ontario Works (welfare) in August of this year. I was paying and current on my support until then. I finally found a job in late August of this year, it's part time (28-32hrs/wk) but has a benefits package (in 6 months, extra $) and the possibility of promotion and full time work. Welfare gets clawed back somewhat because of the part time job, but I need it for medical benefits to cover my medication costs.

My rent alone is $1059 (Toronto..sigh) and I'm only pulling in about $1400 or so per month between the job and welfare. I let my ex know in August that I couldn't afford to pay support, but that I would try and work something out. She seemed understanding, I tried to work out a repayment schedule with amounts to be determined once I could figure out my monthly income with the new job and welfare, but have been served with N4's (Notice to evict for not paying rent) constantly since August, and any spare cash has gone to keeping a roof over my head. Ex has no sympathy and has now filed our separation agreement with the FRO. I have no assets, savings and am still not current on rent (owe $600 still for Nov).

What will happen next and how soon? I've heard 30-60 days for FRO to contact me, I assume they will immediately garnish wages. Is there any relief or reduction available via the FRO?

Can I file for a motion to change the SA? (I'll be self rep, her daddy will pay for top $$ lawyer)

Will my circumstances be considered financial hardship, or will the FRO and the courts not care?

If I file a motion to change, is that process concurrent with the FRO process? Will garnishing kick in before the motion is heard and ruled on?

Can I only file motion to change for finances, or and I try to get to 40% at the same time (would shift support from $200 to her to $600+ to me, and I would be able to claim child care expenses, UCCB, dependant, all of which she currently gets 100% of)?

What's my next move? How screwed am I?
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:50 PM
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.....is there a reason why you didn't go for 50-50? Also, you should be asking for spousal support since she is the highest earner. If the shoe was on the other foot, you can damn well believe that she would be coming after ya
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:00 PM
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You will need to show proof of your job search efforts and demonstrate why you are only working part time. Youre in Toronto. You should be able to find work. Start getting your financial house in order, your emotional well being in order and get another job. FRO will not touch your workfare funds and they will work out a payment schedule. Youve had almost two years to reach your imputed income. The judge will expect an answer.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:03 PM
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I tried my best. Her daddy was fully prepared to bankroll a trial during the separation, she refused all offers of mediation and negotiation and dragged her heels until the trial conference when the judge forced her into it. Once there, she simply refused to budge. I was self rep at the time, sick, depressed and living the basement of the marital home to avoid losing custody chances. I took the separation agreement offer at 39.5/60.5 with a clause to reopen in 2018. I did ok with written submissions, but my experiences at the settlement, case and trial conferences suggested that I'd be bringing a knife to a gun fight going to trial against a $500/hr lawyer on my own. They waved an extra 10k if a settlement was reached before trial, and I took the bait. Maybe it was foolish, maybe cowardly, but the whole experience was toxic and I wanted out.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:04 PM
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Have my son 2 days a week and every other weekend. Working ~30 hrs a week as it is. Not much room for a 2nd job.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:06 PM
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You need to be working full time. Married parents have full time jobs. Divorced parents have full time jobs. You should be working enough to meet your imputed wage. No court will say you dont have to pay or that you can get away with less than 20g with non full time custody.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the input. Would love to find it, but 9-5 full time for a 45 year old with HS diploma is a unicorn. Any answers to my questions?
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 416Dad39 View Post
What will happen next and how soon?
It takes about three months but expect a letter stating you owe the months you haven't paid and a note that they will be contacting your employer to garnish your wages.

Quote:
Is there any relief or reduction available via the FRO?
They will follow whatever order is filed and will not change or modify it. You can work out a payment plan but you still owe the money and it accumulates monthly.

Quote:
Can I file for a motion to change the SA? (I'll be self rep, her daddy will pay for top $$ lawyer)
You can try but you've already been imputed. It doesn't matter who she has representing her or what her war chest is like. You owe child support and you will need to demonstrate your efforts to pay this. Your excuse wont fly. Get a job. Get two jobs. Get three.

Quote:
Will my circumstances be considered financial hardship, or will the FRO and the courts not care?
This isn't financial hardship. You are physically able to get work. A judge wont care what your excuse is. FRO enforces the order, they don't make cs decisions.

Quote:
If I file a motion to change, is that process concurrent with the FRO process? Will garnishing kick in before the motion is heard and ruled on?
FRO will enforce your order until a new one is filed. The costs will add up. Motions take months and there is no guarantee you will win.

Quote:
Can I only file motion to change for finances, or and I try to get to 40% at the same time (would shift support from $200 to her to $600+ to me, and I would be able to claim child care expenses, UCCB, dependant, all of which she currently gets 100% of)?
If you try to change custody to avoid child support it wont work. If your ex has a large war chest and good lawyer, it wont work. You agreed to full custody to her, changing it is very difficult and next to impossible.

Quote:
What's my next move? How screwed am I?
If you start looking at how to improve your financial situation youre not screwed at all. Get a better job. Get a new job. Get two jobs. You have an obligation to pay cs. Before you say Im harsh or cruel, my partner is educated and middle aged and was out of work for two years. He worked two menial jobs below his education and paid his cs including overpayments the entire time.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:47 PM
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You can file a motion to change, but you will have to prove the change. If you are on welfare, speak to your worker, they may have a lawyer to assist you. Seriously, I cannot believe you are paying support, there is a reason they did the 39.5% access and its a joke. Start with your case worker and see. Do they know your current access arrangement? If she should be paying you support they will help you get that support. You essentially have a 2-2-5 custody arrangement, which is when offset support kicks in.

Anyone can file with FRO and FRO will work with you IF you work with them. That being said, you will have to prove your job searches. There are always places hiring, even at min wage, you could make your support obligations.
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the followup answering q's, rockscan. Keep in mind that I do have two jobs right now. Finding a third to mesh with part time shifts that change on a weekly basis is tricky. I can look for full time employment, but I feel the quickest path to that is to stick with the part time job that will get me there eventually and to pick up as many extra shifts as I can (which I've been doing).

I'm not going to say you're harsh or cruel, but I'm guessing that your partner had access to credit, EI, housing and other support that gave them a leg up in the first place. I started out flat broke, no credit, no CC's, no EI, no health benefits, no housing. Rock bottom. Trying to claw my way back.
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