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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 10-11-2005, 11:38 PM
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Hi,

I am in the process of separating and like so many of you have so many questions. How is it that people are separated for years without filing for divorce? Is it that they work out a separation agreement without filing or is it in some provinces you don't need to file for divorce to complete a separation agreement. Or is it that they don't actually have financial issues to work out? My lawyer states that it is much more economical (cheaper) to file for divorce and start the process that way.

If you have sole custody of your children, does the non-custodial parent still have to pay child support? My husband shows interest in our children but then at times he will say he might just give me sole custody but then he doesn't have to pay because child support is his way of ensuring he sees his kids. He even went as far as to say that I could have sole custody if he could save all of the monthly child support and give it to our children on their 18 birthdays. He is so worked up about the money issue that he doesn't even seem to get why child support is in place, AND he is very intelligent, successful man.

I'd appreciate any answers or suggestions you have.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:49 PM
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Hi Sally,
You don't have to file for the divorce right away if you have cover everything else equitably. Unless there has been physical abuse, etc. you have to wait a full year most of the time before you can be granted your divorce...so some people just don't bother filing for the divorce right away. But others file right away, wait the year and then it is ready to go.

As far as child support goes...even if you have sole custody, you are entitled to receive child support....there is a guideline that will tell you what you are entitled to receive from the other parent. It is completely based on his/her income and it really takes the fighting out of the equation.

His access to the children is a whole other ball game and whether he is paying or not paying, it is the child's right to see his/her other parent. A lot of fathers in particular don't realize this....

So if you men are listening...YOUR CHILD HAS A RIGHT TO SEE YOU!

Hope this helps...I think Jeff has access to those guidelines on his site...I will check into it for you as well.

Niki
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Old 10-12-2005, 12:10 AM
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Hi Niki,
Thanks for the info. It's not that I am in a rush at all to be divorced. My husband has agreed to child support based on the tables but has an huge problem with spousal support. I have not worked for several years due to several factors. We also have 2 small children, 1 & 3 and I am not prepared to put them in daycare full time. So my urgency for filing is due to trying to work out finacial matters. I am confused about when do you work out the separation agreement, I thought it was only after filing for divorce?

Sally
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:57 PM
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Hi Sally,
Separation agreements can and should happen right away. Most agreements take a minimum of a year to go through the court system so you want to really try to work it out with your (ex). Spousal support is out of my realm of expertise. Even though I was successful in obtaining it while I work, I am well aware it is something that can get very contenious. This definitely where you want a lawyer to help you out. There are no tables out there for spousal support. I do however know that there are a few factors the judge look at...years of marriage, ability to support yourself and the years in which the payer will be paying child support as well. Spousal support is where things can be messy.
My suggestion would be you start the process for separation agreement right away. The divorce proceedings are just part of the process...what is critical to determine asap is financial issues. And in your case spousal support is critical to your survival.
Good luck with everything.
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:02 PM
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Sally...Jeff just posted this on another section...would be helpful for you as well.

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f8/introduction-22/
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:51 PM
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Niki,
Thank you again for the information. I know I have to get on with things and yes I suppose you are right, filing for divorce is just the first step in completing a separation agreement. You mentioned in your previous email that the agreement can take up to a year to process. Does this mean that my ex will not have to pay spousal support until the agreeement goes through the system? Or at least until the divorce goes through? I have too small children to think of at I cant stay with family forever!!!
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Old 10-13-2005, 09:45 PM
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If you have financial needs you can speed the process up but unfortunately, if he wants to be a jerk...it can be financially crushing...even after you enforce things, the Family Responsibility Office can take up to 3 months to process things. So save your pennies and keep your support networks close. All your financial entitlements will be retroactive or can be made retroactive but don't count on the system to be efficient.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:37 PM
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Hi Sally,

A lot really depends on how amicable things are between you and your ex. In more amicable situations, the couple will negotiate a separation agreement then once the one-year period of separation has passed, file an uncontested divorce.

Divorce proceedings will normally be started if negotiations break down, if one person acts in bad faith, if one person tries to delay things, if it’s a high conflict situation, if there’s been domestic violence, etc.

I agree with nikitaforce that you should try to work out a separation agreement right away. You should get an idea pretty quickly as to whether you and your ex will be able to settle things without going to court. For instance, if you’re entitled to spousal support and your ex refuses to pay any, you might not have much choice but to go to court.

Nikitaforce is also right about timing. Especially for spousal support, if your ex wants to be a jerk, it can be a long time before you get it. An example scenario "bad case" time line might be (it can be slower, or if there’s some good will or cooperation it may be faster):

Day 0 - you start legal proceedings
Day 30 - your ex has to respond
Day 40 - you reply to your ex’s response
Day 50 - first court appearance (known as a case conference) - this is mostly procedural in nature - the judge may make recommendations about spousal support but normally won’t order it, so you need to bring a motion for spousal support
Day 125 - motion for spousal support - it can take this long for the motion to get heard because of crowded court dockets, perhaps your original motion date is adjourned, there may be problems getting financial disclosure, or there may be cross-examinations for the motion
Day 215 - FRO finally garnishes your ex’s salary -if your ex is self-employed or in a different province or state, this can take longer
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:14 PM
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Hi Jeff,

Thank you as well for more clarification. Do you know if this process is the same for all provinces? At first I was confused and told my lawyer I wanted to file for a legal separation which he told me as soon as you are separated it is legal. Like I mentioned before my lawyer said it is way cheaper to just decide if it is over for sure and then file for divorce at which time you would start working on the separation agreement. So it has been a few months and I still haven't started working on the separation agreement because I am still trying to decide if filing for divorce is the right thing to do.

Again too much history that I don't really want to give up on yet but I feel the need to figure out my financial situation.

Any comments?
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Old 10-16-2005, 02:25 PM
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Sally, the timing I outlined is for Ontario. I’m sure the process will be different for all provinces.

There’s no such thing as a legal separation in Canada. You’re separated when your relationship ends. You don’t need to take any legal steps to get there.

It sounds to me like your lawyer thinks that it’s not possible to work things out amicably. This may well be true given that your husband doesn’t even seem to be willing to pay appropriate support.

I’m not sure if your hesitation is with ending the relationship or the divorce itself. You can start legal proceedings for child support, spousal support, etc without asking for a divorce. If later you decide to get a divorce, you can add it in. It’s a bit more expensive than if you’d started by asking for a divorce in the first place, but it may be a way of dealing with your uncertainty about getting a divorce.
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