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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2005, 10:41 AM
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Angry Impact of Remarriage of the Payor

Both my common law spouse and I are divorced. We are considering remarriage, however want to explore the impacts on our individual situations.

Eventually (when the FRO catches up) I will be in receipt of a miniscule amount of child support (10 year old daughter) from my ex spouse. The small amount is due to his inability to remain employed for any length of period.

My common law spouse is paying spousal support as well as "child" support for post secondary education for what appears to be intentional prolonging of graduation! The ex spouse has already made it clear that they will be pursuing the "child" support dollars once the education ceases, claiming that they rightfully belong to them.

My common law spouse will need to replace a vehicle within the next year and has hopes of using that "found" money once the child support ceases. He lives on less than half his income and the remainder largely pays for his debt accumulated during the process of paying off his ex spouse for pension monies that he won't see for many years.

Does the court ever take a serious look at these situations?

My question on this piece is what impact does our remarriage have on a court looking at the reallocation of those support funds? Our "new" family has a young child to support as well as collectively a large amount of debt. I suspect that unless we are living on the street in a cardboard box and triggering some form of social assistance, nobody really cares! I have read the proposed support guidelines published back at the beginning of this year and I am disappointed to see that individual circumstances are largely ignored and the courts can't be bothered with the details that affect individual day to day life.

Anyway, I am hopeful that something will eventually make sense in our laws and the way in which they are interpreted and applied.

Jeff, do you have any answers, comments, suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:23 PM
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Don't know the facts but;
Keep in mind first family rule; that is to say your spouses obligations remain until there has been a material change or until the order or agreement provides for.

"Child support being paid beyond post secondary education."
Does this child work in the summer and generate an income? This amount earned could be used to offset child support costs. Child support is the right of the child and not the right of the former spouse. The law is clear when the child stops being a child i.e.: withdrawing from parental control, gets married or in your case attending post-secondary education.

On the same token, your spouse could claim support from the child later on in life if found in need. This is uncommon but provisions are there in the family law act of Ontario.

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Old 10-11-2005, 08:15 PM
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Anne,

The fact that you’re remarrying generally won’t effect your common law spouse’s child support obligations. There are some minor exceptions - such as if he’s paying a reduced amount of child support due to undue hardship.

The fact that you’re remarrying may effect your common law spouse’s spousal support obligations. The law is fairly inconsistent in this regard. However, one factor in determining the amount of spousal support is his means and ability to pay, which involves considering your finances as well. That will be a plus and a minus - there will be two incomes, but obviously, those incomes will need to be spread over a household of 3 people.

It’s hard to say more than this without looking in detail at your and your common law spouse’s financial situation as well as his ex’s situation and the current court order and more. Here’s a quote from a well-know Court of Appeal judgment that summarizes the situation:

"It is clearly established that monthly spousal support payments will be established with regard to a number of factors, including the needs of the payee, the amount the payee has received in the distribution of family assets, the capacity of the payer to pay, considering his income, assets and other sources of revenue, contributions to his family expenses by a new partner or spouse, obligations towards his children, obligations towards a new family, etc."

Sorry I can’t be more precise. Determining spousal support, especially in a situation like yours, can be more of an art than a science.
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:46 PM
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Smile Remarriage

Thanks Jeff et al, I am aware that the "child" support (I stumble on that word given that we are discussing an adult - 25 year old - whose post ed situation has been "used" as a means of settling and trading off other disputed issues) takes a higher stance than other forms of support.

I am also aware that in our situation, the completion of this post ed piece will trigger a change in circumstance that will have the ex spouse clamoring to obtain those freed up funds. What I was trying to get a handle on was how much weight is given to the 10 year old child in the "new" family (as well as the new amalgamated large amounts of debt) versus the ex spouses claim to requiring that for her support.

Unfortunately, I have had a long and up front view of at least three separation and divorce proceedings and it is amazing to see the lack of precision taken in how things fall out. If Judges could only see what happens behind the scenes, I believe they would be upset as to how easily they have been duped.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2005, 10:28 PM
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I just want to clarify what you're asking - are you saying that once child support stops, your partner's ex is going to be asking for more spousal support, and you're wondering how having a child is going to affect this?

If that’s the question, it’s still a hard one to say anything more definite without a review of the specifics of your situation. For sure, child support ending is considered a material change in circumstances for purposes of reviewing the amount of spousal support. Whether that means spousal support will go up or not is going to depend on a lot of different factors. The fact that you have a child is only one of many factors that will be considered.
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Old 10-14-2005, 01:27 AM
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Default Remarriage

Thanks Jeff,

Yes, that in essence was my question. I gathered that there was no concrete answer for this and that everything is always up for "re-evaluation". For those who are hopeful of closing the door on their old lives and starting new...forget it....it doesn't happen unless the ex spouse falls off the face of the planet. Unfortunately, for those who know how to work this system (or who have lawyers who like litigation $$$) they never truly go away.

I do fully believe that the premise of financial based rulings on support are driven by whether or not social/public assistance would be triggered. Bottom line, whoever is able to pay will pay whether it is logical or not and they will pay until it hurts! Sorry to sound so cynical, but I can speak from experience!!
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Old 10-15-2005, 05:27 AM
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Default Spousal Support after Remariage

Unless I misunderstood Jeff's earlier post in this thread, it sounded like
even if my exwife(to be) remarries, I still have to continue to pay spousal
support to her. Why is that???? I thought that the rationale behind paying
her in the first place was that she was left without a supporting husband.
If she remarries, isn't the onus on her new husband to support her? I
completely do not understand this at all. What's to prevent a woman
from going through a annual cycle of marying, making life miserable for her
partner, divorcing, and collecting support from a long line of ex's. I sure hope
I simply have a misunderstanding here because this is strange!!! Help!!! ...
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Old 10-15-2005, 01:32 PM
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Unhappy Yes - It is all about money

GVJT - I told you I can relate! Supposedly, your ex spouse remarrying is a factor in her ability to support herself. However, the courts seem to hold tight to this concept of if you have the money, you will pay it. I completely agree with you and if you look at Brian's posts as well you will see the same thing. Absolute and complete disgust for illogical laws. This is the only time in my life I can honestly say that I have been ashamed to be a Canadian. I am likely one of few females who have been through this process that can understand how unfair this is. Want more surprises?...if you ever do any better for yourself and earn more money, the ex spouse can always come back and argue a case for increasing their support. So much for starting over and a clean break. To me there is no logic in weaving in your "new life" with the old one. What is done, should be done. I agree.....HELP.
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Old 10-15-2005, 05:30 PM
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The law is clear that remarriage of a person receiving spousal support doesn’t automatically mean the end of spousal support. It’s just one more factor that’s thrown into the mix of factors considered (note: it can often lead to a reduction in spousal support). Again this is one of those areas of law where it’s pretty hard to say anything definite. I’ll try to give some guidelines, though.

There are different reasons why spousal support is awarded -- compensatory, contractual and non-compensatory. See:
http://www.ottawadivorce.com/spousalsupportarticle.htm


In cases where spousal support is non-compensatory, if the spousal support recipient remarries, then spousal support will often be ended. This is particularly so if it was a short-term marriage or the spousal support recipient is young. A lot will also depend on what the standard of living of the new household is.

In cases where spousal support is "compensatory", remarriage of the spousal support recipient probably won’t end spousal support. It may well reduce it, depending on what the standard of living of the new household is.

The idea behind this is that for example, if a wife has sacrificed her career for 20 years for her husband, the husband should not get out of compensating her for this sacrifice just because she remarries. I know that this is very controversial! In many American states (but not Massachusetts) alimony automatically terminates on remarriage:
http://www.divorcenet.com/states/mas..._circumstances
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Old 10-16-2005, 02:14 PM
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Default Agreement to Terminate

Thanks for that clarification, Jeff. Is there anything in the law
that would override me offering spousal support contingent
upon termination in the event that my ex remarries? I mean
clearly the parties invovled can agree to whatever they like,
but it does little good if something in the law takes precedent
over their agreement. (For example, I'm pretty certain that
child support would still apply regardless of what her and I
might agree to regarding it - is that right?)

Last edited by gvjt; 10-16-2005 at 02:16 PM.
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