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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2014, 01:26 PM
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I won't disagree stripes. I was ambush-divorced and my ex had already gone to the bank and stolen every penny so I had no money to hire a lawyer. Then she took a very unreasonable position and stuck to it because she knew I would have to give in and lose eventually.

It can be very different when the divorce is more mutual and parties can communicate and are more interested in settling matters than punishing their ex.

But overly pessimistic or not, you have to understand that it sometimes goes that way and prepare yourself accordingly.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FightingForFamily View Post
I won't disagree stripes. I was ambush-divorced and my ex had already gone to the bank and stolen every penny so I had no money to hire a lawyer. Then she took a very unreasonable position and stuck to it because she knew I would have to give in and lose eventually.

It can be very different when the divorce is more mutual and parties can communicate and are more interested in settling matters than punishing their ex.

But overly pessimistic or not, you have to understand that it sometimes goes that way and prepare yourself accordingly.
\

Gotta agree with you there. Work towards the best outcome, but be prepared for the worst.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2014, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
You can agree on no spousal support being payable if your ex is amenable, but given that the impact of divorce is going to be much greater on her than on you (you'll both have increased expenses because you'll be running a household with only one adult, but her household income is going to drop by 75% while yours will only drop 25%), I think the stand-up thing to do would be to offer her something above the strict 50/50 equalization of marital property. What that "something" is depends on what you and your ex can agree on.
I think that's a good plan. My fears are that her lawyer will goad her into more conflict and that there is a legislated formula imposed. Being fair and reasonable is good for everyone. Something that allows freedom for me to downsize and reduce work load and for us to have security as individuals.
She could live alone if she wants but has her parents living with her. It's along story that one.
After reading many posts here I'm getting a better sense of how to proceed and behave.

Lawyers only seem to understand money. At the initial consult I told him what I expected and that was to just make a reasonable contract. I even wrote a contract to myself in order to stay on track. It was very simple in point form what specifically I wanted and how I would conduct myself so as not to make this even harder. Not taking the other person's inventory helps. Responding instead of reacting. However I do fear lawyers because there are no boundaries, or at least I don't know where they are and they can make up whatever scenario they want driving the process. It's still nerve wracking and feels unpredictable.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:46 PM
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Your lawyers don't have to AGREE to the agreement you and your wife decide to make they JUST need have advised you and their advice to have been duly noted.

Maybe your ex is doing the standup thing and saying "I left - I don't need him to support me" so why you should blows my mind. I will venture to say that in this case even if you guys didn't get SS an your ex what tried to overturn it - it isn't for sure your agreement will be overturned because it isn't COMPLETELY crazy that your ex gets no SS. They don't overturn decisions for minor problems.... Also if she is moving in with somebody else her "Need" goes down significantly.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:46 PM
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You make 3 x what she does and you were married for 13 years - that's what it comes down to in the end.

When you leave a marriage the court wants you to leave on equal footing.

Big consideration would be her age as she is young enough to retrain so she can't use the "out of the workforce too long to have a meaningful career" excuse.

You both are accustomed to combined income (200k). You will have an easier adjustment than she will. I would think about offering her a stepped-down SS for a set time (5 years perhaps?).
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:20 AM
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Correct. I'm there. She will follow her lawyers advice. At this point the ball is in her court. It's an amicable separation but only up to a point.

I'm giving it one last kick at the can by having a second separation agreement written up that I think is fair and reasonable based on what my wife and I have discussed and agreed on. If she doesn't sign it I guess it will sit.
If the lawyers want to fight it out in court they can do so on their own dime arguing case law back and forth. Neither my wife or I will spend money on lawyers to do this. We know how costly that is just to end up in the same place.

I've worked all summer preparing the house for sale, paying the bills debts and mortgage, contacted and the mortgage company, taken on responsibilities of maintaining the house, keeping in good health and all that good stuff.

I'm at peace with a stepped down SS.

The part that I'm questioning is that in order to redo the mortgage in my name, sell the house and do the title exchange requires a separation agreement. That I get. It's the projection that I'll still be making 3x as much. I don't want to be as it's stressful and I don't need the cash and she is stable and employed. I'd be making about 2x as much. I do understand about the hardship and equal footing part hence my offer to help out.
I'll see if I can get a Dr's letter that advises me to slow down the piecework and a letter from my work. I've been seeing a Dr. for years dealing with stress issues. Neither one is a sure thing but it's the truth and what I want to work towards.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:50 AM
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Be very wary about the doctor's note angle. While your good old GP might be prepared to give you a note for good behavior (anxiety) he will think twice if he has to become an "expert witness" and these things can come back and bite you in the ass in the long time. Are you prepared, or rather is your doctor prepared, to be cross examined? Do you have any idea of the cost of that? You will find that doctors somehow become very hard to get appointments with when you want a "doctor's note" for family court purposes.

I think it is admirable that the two of you are trying to keep things civil. Have either you or your wife paid a "retainer" to a lawyer yet or are you both merely paying by the hour for legal advice? Once those retainers come into play things can get quite nasty. Lawyers know that you and your wife have assets. The presence of assets in a family law dispute can be quite tantalizing for lawyers. You and your wife are ideal clients. Now if they can only get the two of you fighting....

In order for your separation agreement to be valid your wife needs to have "independent legal advice." It is during this ILA that a not-so-informed woman finds out from the lawyer just how much she is agreeing to sign away. So I hope your offer is generous in light of this. She may be naive but the lawyer certainly isn't. Expect to hear about the "SSAG tables" but keep in mind these tables are different from child support tables in that they are recommended - not mandatory.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:40 AM
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Okay. That describes my situation to the letter. Thank you for parsing that down in a few paragraphs. I'm relived to know the SSAG tables are not mandatory because SS is the bone of contention. I'm willing to be flexible but not to the cost of my health and sanity. She has to come to her own resolution that what I'm offering is good.
We have paid retainers. My friends and Dr recommended that I get a lawyer and follow the legal route.
I am stuck.
Her's is a collaborative lawyer, who my lawyer said won't go to court. So sense a period of waiting and waiting. This is not good. And I'm not sure what my choices are or if I even have any.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2014, 02:11 PM
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FYI - my lawyer is a "collaborative lawyer" (registered with that Provincial association etc) and he has gone to court for me 4 x each year for the past 4 1/2 years.
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:45 PM
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A lawyer who represents a client in a collaborative divorce process cannot also represent that client in litigation, at least in my province. This is to prevent spouses or their lawyers from derailing the collaborative process by saying "see you in court!". The lawyer I used for my (not very successful) collaborative divorce process could not represent me in litigation, but she represented other clients who were not involved in collaborative processes.

If you and your ex have formally initiated the collaborative process, then no, her lawyer cannot represent her in court. But if you haven't initiated the collaborative process, her lawyer isn't barred from going to court (unless s/he has chosen to only handle collaborative divorces. Being a "collaborative lawyer" just means that the lawyer has special training and qualifications to handle collaborative divorce procedures. Some such lawyers will only do collaborative proceedings, some will do other procedures well.
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