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momto1 09-13-2017 08:55 AM

Spouse's child support arrears questions
 
My common law spouse has some child support arrears. Not an outrageous amount, but some. He's a realtor in a new area so he's slowly building up his client base while I'm the bread winner but because he's 100% commission based, it's not like he can make regular payments to FRO. He pays what we feel is a decent amount per sale towards the debt(between 20-25% of his commission after the 30% goes to the brokerage and another 15% we set aside for his taxes but now FRO wants 50% of each of his deals. Idk if they're just dumb or what, but garnishing that much would just end up making him unable to afford the costs of his job(like a lot of gas,and car maintenance because we live in a rural area and he has to cover a large area) and eventually, it would get to the point that he cant afford to continue in his field and then FRO wouldn't be getting the payments at all. It's not like he has any assets. He gave his ex everything except his car and a few personal belongings and then checked him self into the psych ward after dealing with her BS(which is a whole different story). Is there any way without having to go back to court for him to just keep paying what he can afford when he can afford it since his income is irregular? Business will pick up so they'll get more regular/bigger payments eventually, but right now he can't afford to have 50% garnished right off the top and afford to continue in the only field he's been able to tolerate since his military service in early 2000s.



Also, I'm purchasing a home. I'm the only one on the title and the financing but since he's common law, I know if we split he'll be entitled to half if we split, which is fine because he's not the type to actually take anything. That said, can FRO come after my house for his arrears?
We already don't have any joint accounts because I know they can garnish up to 50% of those, but I'm curious about the house if he's only entitled to it due to common law status rather than because his name is on the paperwork.

Also, we've discussed marriage over the last year or two. Would marrying make me also responsible for his debt? I feel like that's a dumb question considering ive been married before, but I didn't marry into debt. My ex and I were both always debt free until we purchased a home so I don't know these things.

Berner_Faith 09-13-2017 09:26 AM

Sorry you are going through this. Divorce is tough and finances after divorce are even harder.

He should be able to talk to his case worker and work out a payment plan with FRO. To my knowledge as long as he is making payments they can't take aggressive actions. FRO has a set procedure they have to follow and I assume what he is receiving is one of their threatening letters. However it will depend on what he is paying... you state he is giving FRO 20-25% of his commissions, however that number can very greatly depending on the houses he is selling.

What is his monthly CS? His current arrears? Average he pays FRO each time?

As for the house, as common law he wouldn't automatically be entitled to anything, especially if he isn't contributing to the house. Once married however yes he would be entitled to a split of the house. Once married you two basically become one unit... his debt only comes into play if the marriage would to end but anything before the marriage is taken into consideration.


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momto1 09-13-2017 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Berner_Faith (Post 223539)
Sorry you are going through this. Divorce is tough and finances after divorce are even harder.

He should be able to talk to his case worker and work out a payment plan with FRO. To my knowledge as long as he is making payments they can't take aggressive actions. FRO has a set procedure they have to follow and I assume what he is receiving is one of their threatening letters. However it will depend on what he is paying... you state he is giving FRO 20-25% of his commissions, however that number can very greatly depending on the houses he is selling.

What is his monthly CS? His current arrears? Average he pays FRO each time?

As for the house, as common law he wouldn't automatically be entitled to anything, especially if he isn't contributing to the house. Once married however yes he would be entitled to a split of the house. Once married you two basically become one unit... his debt only comes into play if the marriage would to end but anything before the marriage is taken into consideration.


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The problem is that the case worker and the 50% threat was over the phone, he hasn't gotten a letter yet. He had to contact FRO for a statement of his arrears for the real estate board because there was a discrepancy between his original realtor license registration (which he filled out over the phone with a RECO employee) and his renewal re; the child support arrears. The phone call is what set all this stuff in motion.
It's comforting to know they can't take aggressive actions.

Yeah, it varies a lot. The average payment is between $320-$400 per payment on a commission of about $1600.(his cut after his brokerage and other agent cut and this is on anything listed under 50k since it's base fee rather than percentage commission)Houses in northern Ontario are typically pretty cheap and as a newbie, he has to deal a lot with the lower priced land lease deals and rural hunting camps which are obviously much lower priced and has to drive as far as 3 hours each way to list them. He also has to set aside the 15% for taxes and the rest has to be able to cover his monthly realtor fees and insurance,gas, maintenance etc.

I dont even know what his monthly CS payment is supposed to be. He pays for two kids but he technically has had less than 15k/year income for the last 4 years while completing his courses and getting started in our previous town, then moving here for a better quality of life and starting over with building up his business in an area we actually plan to settle in. His arrears are currently between $7,000-8,000

Re; The house, So once we get married, is FRO than able to put a lien on the house then?

Rioe 09-13-2017 10:53 AM

The problem is that he got into arrears on his CS. How did he let this happen? It sounds like he had a pretty low income the last few years. Did he not have his CS adjusted downwards to match his income? Did he have a higher income imputed to him, maybe because he was considered voluntarily underemployed, or because you were supporting him? His CS is supposed to be whatever the court order or separation agreement says it is, so that's easy to look up. It is also supposed to be adjusted annually as income fluctuates. Has he done that at all? Building up $7k to $8k arrears on a $15k income sounds like he's been ignoring things for years.

FRO is simply taking his normal CS, based on the most recent court order or agreement they received, and trying to take extra to recoup the arrears. Nobody wants the arrears to linger any longer than necessary, least of all his children, who may be going without because of this.

I haven't dealt with FRO personally, but from what I've observed on here, 50% is the maximum they can take from any paycheck. The normal CS plus the arrears payment will never be more than 50% of his income. So their 'threat' is probably just them telling him what the worst case scenario will be. But he still has the option of working out a more reasonable payment plan for himself before that happens. You say he's paying around 25% of his commission already, but is that only covering the basic CS, or is any significant amount going to arrears? At the present rate, what is the anticipated date of him paying off the arrears? Is it reasonably achievable, or ridiculous? Does he pay more towards arrears when he has a higher commission come in to try to reduce that?

It sounds like half his problem is that he's chosen a field with lots of expenses and poor income potential. That's simply not a responsible thing to do when you have children to support, and he's feeling the bite of it now.

And he should definitely start taking this seriously, because FRO CAN take aggressive actions, including seizing his passport, and suspending his driver's licence, which sounds like it would just kill his income.

I don't know anything about FRO and liens on houses but here's the major difference between common-law and marriage.

In common-law, two people are in a living arrangement partnership, but not necessarily a financial partnership. Though they share expenses, their income, debts and assets remain separately owned.

In marriage, the two people have become one financial entity. Your income and his are both going to the marriage, and the marriage 'owns' the property and covers the expenses. Assets and debts from before marriage stay separate, but anything afterwards is joint. The exception is the home, which magically becomes joint property upon marriage, even if it remains in only one person's name.

I'm also going to get all judgy mcjudgeface here, and say I don't think much of this guy. He doesn't pay his CS and moved away from his children? I'd be cautious that his lack of responsibility in that area will also manifest in other areas that may affect you. Something to consider when approaching a partnership with him that may include marriage. Your thoughts shouldn't necessarily be 'can FRO take my house?' but 'is this guy safe to own a house with?'

arabian 09-13-2017 11:01 AM

I read this and I feel like puking to be honest. I hope FRO puts the boots to him.

The man has children. He is responsible to make payment to help support these children.

Think of it like rent or your mortgage payment - you pay or you eventually get kicked out. Child support isn't supposed to be paid just when its convenient for you. If your man can put aside money for his gas and realtor expenses he can put aside his child support payments. He just has his priorities screwed up IMO.

If your man can't make a go of things with his realtor job then he should perhaps think of something else to do. Minimum wage jobs pay more than 15k/year. Actually a realtor's job provides enough time for your man to have another job while trying to sell homes. I know many who do this when they are first getting started.

Remember, not all of us can work in jobs that we "want" but rather we have to work in jobs that we "need" to do to put food on the table.

rockscan 09-13-2017 11:17 AM

Youre not going to get much sympathy on here. He had another job which his cs was based on. He isnt working in that job anymore so he has a new income. He should have either gone to court to change the cs amounts or taken another job to meet his obligations. I have a family member who is a realtor PART TIME and works full time in another job to make ends meet. Your spouse should have taken a good hard look at his obligations to his children and taken a responsible route with respect to income potential. Northern Ontario isnt a great employment area to begin with.

And I say this as the spouse of a man who was unemployed for two years and still paid his child support IN FULL and ON TIME.

Tayken 09-13-2017 03:09 PM

Time to find a new partner I say.

Berner_Faith 09-13-2017 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momto1 (Post 223541)
The problem is that the case worker and the 50% threat was over the phone, he hasn't gotten a letter yet. He had to contact FRO for a statement of his arrears for the real estate board because there was a discrepancy between his original realtor license registration (which he filled out over the phone with a RECO employee) and his renewal re; the child support arrears. The phone call is what set all this stuff in motion.

It's comforting to know they can't take aggressive actions.



Yeah, it varies a lot. The average payment is between $320-$400 per payment on a commission of about $1600.(his cut after his brokerage and other agent cut and this is on anything listed under 50k since it's base fee rather than percentage commission)Houses in northern Ontario are typically pretty cheap and as a newbie, he has to deal a lot with the lower priced land lease deals and rural hunting camps which are obviously much lower priced and has to drive as far as 3 hours each way to list them. He also has to set aside the 15% for taxes and the rest has to be able to cover his monthly realtor fees and insurance,gas, maintenance etc.



I dont even know what his monthly CS payment is supposed to be. He pays for two kids but he technically has had less than 15k/year income for the last 4 years while completing his courses and getting started in our previous town, then moving here for a better quality of life and starting over with building up his business in an area we actually plan to settle in. His arrears are currently between $7,000-8,000



Re; The house, So once we get married, is FRO than able to put a lien on the house then?



With this new information I think your partner may be in trouble. FRO Has clearly sent a garnishment order to his employer... if this is the case then yes they can take up to 50% of his income... $8000 in arrears is a lot to be in arrears, that seems like over a year of arrears unless his CS was thousands a month and he only missed a couple months... but if his CS was thousands a month I question why he quit a job to take on a relator job and make no money, especially in Northern Ontario.

My suggestion would be for him to get to court and have his CS adjusted to what his income actually is and he ready to explain why he took such a hit on his income (and I hope it wasn't to follow you because a judge won't be kind to that).

Sorry to say but from the additional information you have provided sounds like he has some decisions to make. Either have 50% garnished or find a new job where he can make a living. As for you, I won't give you relationship advice but I can say like Rock my husband went through periods on unemployment or little pay and still paid his monthly CS on time every month for two children.


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Beachnana 09-13-2017 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by momto1 (Post 223541)
The problem is that the case worker and the 50% threat was over the phone, he hasn't gotten a letter yet. He had to contact FRO for a statement of his arrears for the real estate board because there was a discrepancy between his original realtor license registration (which he filled out over the phone with a RECO employee) and his renewal re; the child support arrears. The phone call is what set all this stuff in motion.
It's comforting to know they can't take aggressive actions.

Yeah, it varies a lot. The average payment is between $320-$400 per payment on a commission of about $1600.(his cut after his brokerage and other agent cut and this is on anything listed under 50k since it's base fee rather than percentage commission)Houses in northern Ontario are typically pretty cheap and as a newbie, he has to deal a lot with the lower priced land lease deals and rural hunting camps which are obviously much lower priced and has to drive as far as 3 hours each way to list them. He also has to set aside the 15% for taxes and the rest has to be able to cover his monthly realtor fees and insurance,gas, maintenance etc.

I dont even know what his monthly CS payment is supposed to be. He pays for two kids but he technically has had less than 15k/year income for the last 4 years while completing his courses and getting started in our previous town, then moving here for a better quality of life and starting over with building up his business in an area we actually plan to settle in. His arrears are currently between $7,000-8,000

Re; The house, So once we get married, is FRO than able to put a lien on the house then?

Yes they can put a lien on the home. It ifmyou are not selling it then it will not matter.


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