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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 11-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Going Back to School


Hi:

I'm looking into going back to School. However, I don't know what are the implications that this will have on my Child Support Payments, Section 7 Expenses, visiting schedule, etc.

A little about me:

Have 2 children (10 yr girl and 5 yr boy). I pay about $950/month for both kids. (Yes, I kind of have a good job). Ex works p/t and get $27K/yr. Ex is engaged to be married next summer. I live with my parents to try to save $. I see my kids every other weekend (Frid night to Sunday 7pm).

Right now I work full-time but I have a lot of debt due to legal fees, bills, etc.

I want to back to University and become a Physician Assistant. The program is 2 year long. I will have quick my fulltime job, applied to OSAP again (I'm still paying it from previous degree), not to mention that the program is only offered as full-time for 2 years. This includes going to school during the weekends, holidays, been on-call, etc. Placements are in Rural Areas of Ontario.

1. Do I have to pay CSP even though I'm making $0? OSAP will help with some housing cost (I assume)


Let me know if you need more information.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

With kind regard;

Salsero12
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:31 AM
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Yes, you have an obligation to support your children. Returning to school, especially for ANOTHER degree, is a choice.

You will likely be imputed an income equal to what you are earning now, and pay CS based on that.

What school has programs that run all day and night, 7 days a week...??
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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Drygala v. Pauli, 2002 CanLII 41868 (ON CA)

This is the relevant appeal court decision that is referenced in almost all cases. Your first step should be to read it through carefully a couple of times.

Family Law Act - Child Support Guidelines Section 19. (1)

Quote:
Imputing income
19. (1) The court may impute such amount of income to a parent or spouse as it considers appropriate in the circumstances, which circumstances include,
(a) the parent or spouse is intentionally under-employed or unemployed, other than where the under-employment or unemployment is required by the needs of any child or by the reasonable educational or health needs of the parent or spouse;
Short answer:

In most cases when you quit your job, your ex may seek to have you imputed an income for support purposes based on your historic full time wage. Basically you keep paying support according to what you were previously paying.

If you go to school, and these are your "reasonable educational needs" meaning that it is not a degree in Canadian Literature, but something that leads to a new career, then your ex may not impute an income.

In the case of Drygali, the parent was not working at all and was not paying a cent of child support while in school. The appeals court found that he should be capable of working about 15 hours a week while he is in school, and imputed the wage according to his previous job. The amount ended up about $12k a year, and he was required to pay support according to that amount.

While in school you would be expected to work part time and have some income. It would be a very good idea for you to plan this out and detail your part time work and income in your application to change child support, as well as detail the lenght of the program, when you expect to graduate, the job you expect to get, and your eventual income level. Include all of this information and suggest that you be imputed a wage of (15 hours a week X your previous hourly rate.)

This will shut down most or all of your ex's expected complaints; they won't have a case.

There is also a lot of case law detailing the responsiblilty of a child of the marriage to contribute to their expenses when the parents are fighting over section 7. A judge will detail how many hours a student should be expected to work during a full-time program. This would be a citable argument to support your own budget.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:06 PM
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This is a degree that is offered by University of Toronto. This degree, just like medical school, imposes times in which a practicum must be fulfilled. Example, been on call, Emergency night shift, med surgical rotation etc.

The program explicitly state that during this period of time (24 months) the student should refrain for working, due mainly to the time required to fulfill "residency-like placement", been on call, etc.

At the end of the program, the starting salary will be a lot greater than what I'm making now, almost at par with that of a MD, however, a lot less.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Drygala v. Pauli, 2002 CanLII 41868 (ON CA)

This is the relevant appeal court decision that is referenced in almost all cases. Your first step should be to read it through carefully a couple of times.

Family Law Act - Child Support Guidelines Section 19. (1)

Short answer:

In most cases when you quit your job, your ex may seek to have you imputed an income for support purposes based on your historic full time wage. Basically you keep paying support according to what you were previously paying.

If you go to school, and these are your "reasonable educational needs" meaning that it is not a degree in Canadian Literature, but something that leads to a new career, then your ex may not impute an income.

In the case of Drygali, the parent was not working at all and was not paying a cent of child support while in school. The appeals court found that he should be capable of working about 15 hours a week while he is in school, and imputed the wage according to his previous job. The amount ended up about $12k a year, and he was required to pay support according to that amount.

While in school you would be expected to work part time and have some income. It would be a very good idea for you to plan this out and detail your part time work and income in your application to change child support, as well as detail the lenght of the program, when you expect to graduate, the job you expect to get, and your eventual income level. Include all of this information and suggest that you be imputed a wage of (15 hours a week X your previous hourly rate.)

This will shut down most or all of your ex's expected complaints; they won't have a case.

There is also a lot of case law detailing the responsiblilty of a child of the marriage to contribute to their expenses when the parents are fighting over section 7. A judge will detail how many hours a student should be expected to work during a full-time program. This would be a citable argument to support your own budget.
Hey! I take exception!
Canadian Lit is a valid educational pursuit, right up there with under-water fire-fighting.
:P
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salsero12 View Post
This is a degree that is offered by University of Toronto. This degree, just like medical school, imposes times in which a practicum must be fulfilled. Example, been on call, Emergency night shift, med surgical rotation etc.

The program explicitly state that during this period of time (24 months) the student should refrain for working, due mainly to the time required to fulfill "residency-like placement", been on call, etc.

At the end of the program, the starting salary will be a lot greater than what I'm making now, almost at par with that of a MD, however, a lot less.
Almost at par but a lot less? What...?
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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The starting salary for this position, after graduation is about $90K/yr. However, there are people that have a Physician Assistant Degree from U of T and/or MacMaster that are making around about $125K/yr.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:10 PM
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Just do it.

Sounds like it will put you in a better position, eventually.
Which puts your kids in a better position eventually.

Do what you gotta do to make it work, and deal with whatever CS nonsense comes out of it.

I guess what I'm saying is don't let fear of increased financial responsibility, or short-term hardship prevent you from moving forward in life.

Simple enough, really
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:20 PM
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Thank You Wretchedotis for you kind words.

Yes, it will be a 2 year hardship on me, however, I'm willing to go through it so that my kids can have a better position in life, although this means that my ex will get more $$ from me.

Does anyone else have have any further advice and/or suggestions?

Thank you in advance to all of you that have answered this post, as well as those who have read it. I hope that this thread can help other spouses that might be in a similar position in which I'm in at the moment.

With kind regards;

salsero12
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:27 PM
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Someone who has a good full time job, lives with their parents and has only EoW access should not have debt. At least, not for long.

Someone with a good full time job and children to support should not go back to school without any serious planning. What would you be doing if you and your ex were still together? Would it be at all feasible to drop your job and go back to school for two years? Could any happily married couple survive a huge household income drop for two years in the hopes of a better income later? And what are the prospects for being hired afterwards?

That said, now you have to think of ways to make it work. It sounds like you have lots of kid-free time, so find a part-time job to help pay down your debt faster, and save up for the two years of school. Make it a plan for a few years down the road, not next year.

As noted, a court is not going to let you just drop your income and pay zero CS. Your kids and obligations don't just stop existing just because you go back to school.
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