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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 01-04-2012, 12:38 AM
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Question SSAG percentage for long term marriage (>20 years)

Hi everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR, may this coming year be the one where all will be solved and we can all move on...

I would like to get an idea on actual decisions/agreements for LONG-TERM marriages (apart from CANLII): what percentage of the combined income/NDI did you end up with? I am looking at a SSAG Spousal Support range of 37.5-50%. Ex is going for the "low" 37% (Note: Ex earns 3 times what I make). My lawyer suggested "mid-to-high"... And yes, judge ruled on entitlement etc... just the amount has to be decided....
so, what was YOUR final SSAG percentage?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:03 PM
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Others will give advice but check out www.mysupportcalculator.ca to give you an idea.

Last edited by shellshocked22; 01-04-2012 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:26 PM
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Hi and thanks for the response. I do know the SS range and amounts, I'm just trying to get an idea of what is actually the usual percentage given for long-term marriage (i.e. is the mid-point the usual ruling of the judge? should I be satisfied with the mid-point in negotiations? my lawyer + 2nd opinion lawyer seem to indicate mid-to-high is the correct position... but I'd like to get to a settlement)
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:53 PM
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Just some general comments....

For obvious reasons, your lawyer will be encouraging you to go for the throat/maximum amount. The "uglier" it gets, the more legal fees they get.

Also, keep in mind that SS is taxable to YOU. Looks like you're trying to decide to fight over 50% vs. 37%. So, we're talking a 13% spread. I don't know what your marginal tax rate is but of the 13% difference, figure the government will take between 3 to 6% of it in taxes.

Also, consider the "soft" costs. That is, do you really want to piss off your ex to the maximum ? I suspect if you're reasonable with the ex things will go better for both of you. Even if you go for the throat and succeed in getting the maximum amount, I suspect you can look forward to FUTURE visits to court initiated by the ex in the hopes of reducing it. If you're getting the max, the ex has nothing to lose by hauling you into court (and the related legal fees and emotional grief) indefinitely.

On the other hand, if you're reasonable and take the offer (or close to it), chances are the ex will be OK with it and won't want to "rock the boat" in the future.

This is simply a personal bias, and you likely won't like it, but I honestly believe people should look after themselves. No matter how you look at it, 37% is a significant sum of money. I know the system fosters a sense of "entitlement" to the lower wage earner, but try to resist milking the ex for every last dime, accept what sounds like a reasonable offer and move on with your life. Get things wrapped up and try to keep things amicable.

Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:07 PM
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Good input - that's exactly the ethical dilemma, trying to take care of me without overdoing it (Ex has refused to pay a dime for years.... and I'm not even going for retro payments!!). I'm looking at the future where Ex will have a sizable pension while I'll have zip - I assume the SS range point set now will be the same range point for SS during retirement?? (yep I know Boston, double-dipping etc, there will still be plenty $$ left for SS). Thanks for your help
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:55 PM
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It sounds like you are somewhat in the same boat as I am except neither of us are raking inthe money. Yes this has been asked of me as well. The best advice I got was to determine your extra support costs and perhaps compare that to the going to work costs of the payor 9remember I am in the position of not getting much income on CPP. If you threw both your "after tax incomes on the table the share for a long marriage". The payor should bring in at least a little more than 50% for the incentive to work. You could also agree to not consider any extra income she might bring in after the fact (part time job - those funds go to the person doing the work). In my case again it has been brought up that my "survival" expenses are growing and as (In a more positive light - IF) if my body continues to slide downward, the help I will need will grow accordingly and so will the costs.

So the most sense to me was to have a fairly strong but very clear and well defined clause for the should my expenses rise that I will have a window to adjust SS accordingly without freaking out or going to court. Today if the spead was 55/45 to 52/48 being the highest. Look at your own circumstance and compare only the issue during the time which you were married - I f your Ex earns 7 times what you will because of a degree or something brought into the marriage and naturally leaves the marriage with that person - that benefit is thiers to enjoy - alone.

hope this helped you a little on what to think for hard issues to find that right number$$
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