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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 03-24-2012, 01:55 AM
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Default My first divorce, have some Asset Division questions

Hi!
This is my first divorce, and I have some questions, hopefully someone can give me a hand.

We were married for a year, from Nov 10 until I got sick of her being at her boyfriends 6 nights a week and in Nov 11 we had a talk where we mutually agreed we were done. She stayed at her boyfriends until I re-rented our apartment and we moved everything out for Mar 1. For the whole time we lived together, I had her set up at her job to automatically deposit some money into our joint account for rent, since she's very forgetful, but apart from that she didn't make material contributions to the household.

In Oct/11, my job let me go, gave me a severance payout, and I cashed in my RRSP so I could make a go of running my own business. We've been in operation for several years, but on a small scale, and I used the money to help us expand to a new space and finally get big-time (ish).

Now, she told me that our legal separation date is when we actually moved out, but my reading says that isn't necessarily the case. She also has been very demanding about getting a copy of my bank statements and credit cards /immediately/, in spite of knowing all my assets and liabilities (I don't have much, it isn't hard). She has been reluctant to even give me time to research what my rights and responsibilities are, which has raised red flags with me. So:

Separation date: is it when we moved out, when we had the "break up" talk, or can it be another date, such as the effective end of the relationship?

Financial disclosure: She's demanding bank and CC statements, but my reading says that there's various types of financial disclosure, and that a sworn statement of assets is also an acceptable disclosure in non-lawyer non-court cases. I am nervous about immediately handing over bank statements, because I've been buying the supplies for the business out of my personal account, and I don't want to have to go through line-by-line identifying what is a sunk cost or what is an existing asset, etc. I have also been on EI for the last few months, and I'm sure it won't look good that I haven't been properly separating the funds. I know that if it goes to court they can demand it and I have to provide, but if we're not at the court stage, can I only agree to a lesser option? Providing statements makes me nervous, I'm not entirely sure why, but I have nightmares about something in there meaning I lose my business or something.

Debt repayment: We both have personal credit cards of roughly the same amount owing, and three debts leftover from the wedding. One to our photographer, one to her boyfriend, and one to her parents. One of the proposals was to evenly split these, so I'd pay the first two and she'd pay the last, but now I'm concerned that she won't actually have to pay this, that it'll be written off/forgiven as soon as we're settled. What options do I have?

The car: I bought my new car in Nov/09, after we were engaged, on the assumption that we would be staying together and we'd need a safe car for kids, etc, that was paid off by the time we'd be looking at a house. As such, I have a nice responsible car that I'm paying a good amount on, the loan is just under my name. Insurance is also only under my name, because she had an accident in her parents car years ago and adding her onto the insurance would have bumped our premiums by a lot. How does the car count? Is it just my problem, or do we split it? Does it's decrease in value over the course of our marriage count in my calculation of value?

Urgency of action: She's pretty adamant that we get the asset statement settled immediately, she's vaguely threatened lawyers if I don't do it on her timeline of now. My reading says that we have to be separated for a year before we can even file for divorce, and to my logic, it doesn't matter when we do it, the numbers aren't going to change, so obviously I'd like to take my time on it, perhaps deal with some things. Does it actually make a difference when we take care of it?

Equal division: I'm concerned about equally dividing assets. As I said, I was employed until Oct/11, earning about 10k/y more than her, but I was the only one in the household buying actual assets, she was spending her money on nail polish (literally, it's an impressive collection) and eating out and general buggering around (and, I'm sure, paying her share at her boyfriends for food and supplies, etc). Things were ostensibly over in the summer. Then I got a 9k severance and almost 5k of RRSP, all of which I've sunk into the business. She's saying she's entitled to exactly half of everything, and I don't think this is fair. I had that job for 3 years, she's never contributed to the business (hasn't even been to it), and she didn't contribute to the household. While I'm fine splitting things fairly, it seems wrong for her to claim part of my payout. She's also upset (now) that I spent it on the shop instead of debts, even though in Sept/Oct we discussed it and she agreed to me taking the big plunge for self employment.

So, yeah, lots of questions. I'd really appreciate some guidance on whatever points you can help with. Also, sorry for being verbose, but if there's any more information I can give, please let me know!

Cheers,
CGB
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:23 AM
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she is entitled to half the assets of the marriage even if she didnt contirbute. I know its not fair at all.

You have to do a separation agreement and provide a financial statement to her lawyer. Its not a case of waiting till you can file for divorce, you have to get it done so assets can be split.

Your separation date is the day you and her had the talk. It makes it murky with you if you kept joint bank accounts etc with her after that point. It will be your word against hers.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:12 AM
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Disagree with Standingonthesidelines.

The separation date is the date you agree on, OR the date you can prove. If you can't prove it, it didn't happen, as far as the courts are concerned.

A relationship, in law, isn't just what is between you, it is what you present to society. To explain, if you have a joint bank account, then are presenting the concept to the bank that you are a couple. If you are perceived to be a couple, then you are a couple.

Many people discuss breaking up, and then change their minds and give it another go. You aren't separated just because you talked about it, you are separated when you take actual factual steps and make changes to separate.

This doesn't necessarily have to be living separately, but living separately is a huge percentage. If you do not have separate addresses, then you need concrete evidence to show that you are separated, like actively closing joint accounts, taking your spouse off of your car insurance, sleeping in separate rooms with locks on the door.

As far as assets go, you will only split assets acquired DURING THE MARRIAGE. From the sounds of things you did not "show a profit" during this year, you acquired more debt.

As far as your car goes, first of all it is in your name, it is your car. You will deduct any amount owing from the resale value at time of separation. You are probably in very good shape from this, it depreciates immediately the day you bought it so you are not using the purchase price, and you probably owe more on it at the moment than it is worth, or very close to it.

The debt acquired just before you married, which was to pay for wedding expenses etc. can be argued to be marriage debt. If she writes off her portion, goes bankrupt or it is forgiven, that is none of your business. You are separated, your life is yours, hers is hers. The point is that you are not responsible for the debt either. Forget it.

Overall, if you can agree to stay out of court, you can come to any agreement you wish. There is nothing wrong with her asking for disclosure, this is something we all do. She has a legal right to the information, but you also have a legal right to hers. You are splitting hairs and being obstinate about this, and you won't be able to back yourself up.

Yes, "according to reading" if she agrees, you don't have to do a full disclosure. If she doesn't agree, then you do. If you do not disclose, she does not have to sign off on equalization and she can take you to court at will. She can also deny a divorce order. Take a look in the mirror and ask why you care? Make your lists, make your totals, go the bank and get statements printed off, do your disclosure, have it ready and tell her you will show yours when she is ready to show you hers.

There are situations where you need to draw a line and defend yourself, but do not be obstinate and unco-operative for the sake of it. Get it done, get it over with, keep the costs down, keep the arguing down, walk away and get on with your life.

You will come out of this in one piece if you MINIMIZE conflict. By denying her your disclosure you are not do that, you are increasing the reasons for conflict.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:38 AM
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what part did you disagree with?
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:38 PM
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from my understanding, the separation date is whenever one of you decides you were separated. Nov 11 in your view. It does not have to be agreed upon....it helps though.
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