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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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Old 08-13-2012, 12:03 PM
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Has the original agreement been set into an order in the courts?Or was it just written up between the two of you?You cant piecemeal between things you like in the agreement and things you don't.From what you have said, starting from scratch would be better for you in the long run.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:21 PM
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I can sense and sympathize with your frustration over the SS issue. From what I'm reading from you, looks like you only got "partial" advice on SS.

Yes, the "guideline" for duration is one half to 100% of the time you were together. NOTE this INCLUDES common law so if you were married 17 years and lived together for 2 years, its no different than being married 19 years. Yes, I know it sucks and its not even fair but that's another matter...

The bottom line with SS is that it is NOT "cut and dry" as is the case with CS. The various "formulas" are a "guideline" but are not "law" like CS. In other words, you can pretty well do any deal you want if you both agree and assuming its not crazy unfair to one party. Well, let's rephrase that; the courts usually don't care if its crazy unfair to the payor just the payee lol....

The advice of the other posters are also correct - the "guidelines" are based on ages, income differentials, did one spouse "give up" earning power to raise the kids, yada yada yada... From what I can tell, IF it got really nasty and went to court then the judge tends to use the "guidelines". But, everyone loses in court due to crazy legal fees so its best to cut at deal between you.

Courts tend to be reluctant to place a firm "end date" and instead give "review" periods or if there is a "Material change" (someone's income varies a lot, illness, etc.). The bottom line with this approach is that IT NEVER EFFING ENDS !!!! You'll be court till you're 85 fighting each other !

So, for what it's worth, here is my humble advice to you my friend...

a) keep in mind that monthly SS is tax deductible (unlike CS which is from YOUR NET income). You said you earn about $80 so you are pretty well in the marginal 46% tax bracket. In other words, if you pay her $1,000 a month, you get to deduct it like an RRSP so yo get almost $500 in a tax refund (recipient has to declare as income and pay tax on it). So, keep in mind we're talking NET dollars here, not gross.

b) in my opinion, be firm on a definitive END DATE come hell or high water !!! Make sure you have it properly worded so that even if there is an alien invasion the end date is not negotiable.

c) given your marginal tax rate and the likelihood of *hit happening as time goes on, I would be inclined to give a little higher amount BUT for a shorter time period. You want to get the hell away from her ASAP and distance yourself financially.

d) if you can, try to put in something that IF she remarries (or common law say 3 years), then SS terminates. The idea is that she would now be problem of the poor bastard who replaced you. In other words, she should only be having her hand in one man's wallet, not two lol !

e) Yes, lawyers are pricey. But in family law, you don't want to be penny wise pound foolish. Do NOT assume a lawyer is competent/good just because they are a lawyer. I was shocked how sloppy some family law lawyers are ! No different than any other occupation but people just "assume" a lawyer is good. There are good chefs and bad chefs for example. The problem is with a lawyer they don't really worry about "repeat" business so don't really care if you're pissed and don't come back. ASK around for references; maybe even here. Ask the lawyer for references from past clients; especially if their client was the "payor" like you are.

So, to summarize...

a) keep in mind we are talking tax deductible payments

b) get a GOOD lawyer

c) get a firm end date

All the best to you !!
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:05 AM
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Both lawyers said it's not valid. The only thing we agreed to was the property and assets split. The agreement is being rewritten all over again besides property, pension and assets.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baffled_Dad View Post
Both lawyers said it's not valid. The only thing we agreed to was the property and assets split. The agreement is being rewritten all over again besides property, pension and assets.
Get that in a written letter from her lawyer and then stop paying SS until you get the new deal hammered out.Its not like she doesn't have money of her own.Want her to play ball?Give her an incentive to play ball.If her lawyer is that adamant that the deal isnt worth anything, then there is your out clause-you will wait until you have a new agreement sorted out.May want your lawyer to brouch the subject of repayment of SS if you have been overpaying too.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baffled_Dad View Post
I apologize for the jumping around. We lived together for about 2 years before we were married b/c the oldest came before we were married. No! The reason why she took time off was to get her income down. My kids are adults and one is away playing jr Hockey.
I can honestly say I shot my self in the foot by paying her. I did not seek legal advice right away. We did our own agreement. My lawyer says our old agreement is null and void so then that means anything we agreed to other than property and pension b/c that was agreed not to be revisited. If I stop paying her now, what would a judge say. I really cant afford to pay what I'm paying. She's taking home $5400/ month I'm taking home $2800/ month. Wtf! My lawyer doesn't answer my calls. I end up speaking with his secretary. He gets the messages I know that. My oldest son is in his last year of college. I know my lawyer is working on the income statement from her. Her lawyer hasn't submitted it to us. Maybe if I stop paying SS all together this will motivate them. Will a judge look down on me or will he show some fairness?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baffled_Dad View Post
I realize every case is different. I was married approximately 17 years. Separated for over 2 years now almost divorced. My ex makes about $20/hr approx. $40k/year. I make $40/hr $80-$90k/ year. She's self sufficient in every way. How long do I have to pay SS? is there any way out of it. She lives mortgage free, vehicle paid off, bought her out of my pension, I have a couple more years of CS before both kids are out of school. A friend of mine was in a longer term marriage and he was done after 6 or 7 years after he took her back to court. I do realize their are many different factors based on any decision made by a judge.
I am truly not wanting to be difficult, but the information you provide from one post to another is not consistent and therefore how can one respond with guidance.
First you say she earns 40k a year to your 80k, then you go on to say she is taking home 5.4k a month to your 2.8k.
The math doesnt add.

Her living mortgage free or her cars paid off due to you buying her out of your pension is a division of property issue not to be confused with SS.
I would suggest that you stopping SS would not be viewed in a very positive light.
You say your lawyer is working on her income statement and then you say it hasnt been received from her lawyer. I understand you are frustrated but the facts have to be clear for someone to respond in a helpful way.

Last edited by momforever1956; 08-14-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:58 AM
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My ex takes me to court several times a year trying to get SS eliminated so maybe I can help. A few things to note:

Agree with Shellshocked - GET A GOOD LAWYER. My ex pretty much self-represented and he imploded at court every single time.

If you become too confrontational your ex will not submit financial information. They will think of every excuse in the book to reschedule, delay and delay again. Then you are screwed, blued and tattooed as they say. We have been chasing my ex around for several years for financial disclosure. No fun whatsoever.

Agree with previous posters in that it isn't cut and dried. I am with the understanding that SS is supposed to equal out the standard of living. What a normal trend is to have a graduated scale of inputed income for your ex (year 1 - 15,000.00; year 2 - 20,000.00, etc. with a review of SS after year 5) - just as an example. Some long-term marriages do not have inputed income. All depends on the ages and other circumstances. Best thing is to get yourself informed of all SS decisions made in your province over the past 4 or 5 years.

I loved it when my ex refused to pay SS. It took 10 minutes in court to get his salary garnisheed and it forever made him look like a total loser. Be very, very careful as there are lots and lots of dead beats out there that the judges love to throw the book at.

Keep a cool head and get a good lawyer. "Good" meaning someone who knows family law and is respectful to your ex, her lawyer and most importantly, the judge.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momforever1956 View Post
I am truly not wanting to be difficult, but the information you provide from one post to another is not consistent and therefore how can one respond with guidance.
First you say she earns 40k a year to your 80k, then you go on to say she is taking home 5.4k a month to your 2.8k.
The math doesnt add.

Her living mortgage free or her cars paid off due to you buying her out of your pension is a division of property issue not to be confused with SS.
I would suggest that you stopping SS would not be viewed in a very positive light.
You say your lawyer is working on her income statement and then you say it hasnt been received from her lawyer. I understand you are frustrated but the facts have to be clear for someone to respond in a helpful way.
The 5.4k is her combined income with my CS & SS with her wages. The remaining income for myself is listed.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:31 AM
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Arabian: I have been very cool with her. I can't deal with her. For lack of better words: She's nuts! I haven't left her high and dry. I gave her everything she wanted, thru the marriage & at the end of it. I screwed up on my own behalf not immediately getting legal representation. I regret that but now have to live with it. My lawyer has been good but I'm still waiting to finalize this eith lots I'd frustration while researching and posting question and getting answers I like and dislike. That's life! I realize cutting her off now with SS will somehow bite me in the ass or maybe not. I don't know. None of our business has passed thru the courts yet. It's two lawyers looking at tables and charts basing ing numbers of the past years incomes. She will never agree to an end date so how does this get put into place. She's 44 like myself. Kids are just about done school and she works full time just as I do. I've been cooperative and done the right thing but I'm getting screwed in the end. The ol'saying goes "nice guys finish last" I really appreciate all the advice I'm getting wether I like it or not. I'm definitely making notes to discuss with my lawyer when I finally talk to him. I'm just looking to move forward live my life.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:53 AM
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Spousal Support

You and your former spouse can set up your own spousal support agreement out of court. Before you do so, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice because spousal support is a very complex issue and can be affected by many different factors. Just because a spouse is in a financially weaker position does not mean he or she is automatically entitled to support.


Spousel support is supposed to be a safety net for spouses until they can stand on their own two feet.Unless age is a factor,it isnt in your exes case.Your ex is self sufficient.It isnt a safety net for her in her situation.Please check out other lawyers and Arabian is very right about keeping your ex sweet to get her financial information.If she does start stonewalling ,things could get very expensive and she could quit her job in order to manipulate her income .Being fair and decent is a rarity but just because you are playing by the rules doesn't mean she will.The only real thing you can do is push to get a new agreement as fast as possible.Probably paying SS until that is settled could cost you less in the long run.Was reading back over your posts -your ex is taking less hours to drop her income?.That's great for you.If you had a joint bank account get all those statements printed out.Judges have a tendency to really hate deadbeats.You paying and her dropping her income to hit you up for more money is NOT going to work in her favour.You keep playing by the rules and get enough paperwork to show her intention and it should work in your favour.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:36 AM
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Baffled Dad: Your stbx is very young and in my opinion it would be unlikely that you would pay her SS beyond a set amount of time. She is able to work and partially support herself while continuing her mother-duties (for lack of better words). Things work differently there in Ontario than in Alberta in that we have other legal processes which are used to settle things. This is something that I would talk over with your lawyer: make a bonafide offer to settle. At the same time have your lawyer book a trial date. Tell your lawyer that you will make an offer one time only and will not get into the 4 way meetings/settlement conferences or whatever you call them, that seem to be the norm out there. I think that once your lawyer knows you are serious and you aren't going to play the game that maybe you can get through this quickly. If your wife is unreasonable then I would definitely not communicate with her.

You will not be paying for ever and ever. You would do yourself a favor by looking at this as an equalization process rather than a "I'm getting screwed" process. If you made less money than her she would have to pay you. Do your homework and get up to speed on recent SS litigation. You might pay considerably less than you think you have to as she does work and is quite young. She doesn't reach the "rule of 65" threshold which is commonly used, on combination with other factors, to measure indefinite SS. Age + yrs together.

Basically you make an offer. She disagrees go to trial - end of discussion. Don't let your lawyer draw you into useless 4 way meetings where nothing gets agreed. You can accomplish the same via letters. Just my opinion.
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