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Old 09-27-2010, 02:47 PM
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Smile Hi there,

Well, here is a place in my life that I never thought I would be. I was married for 17 years, together for 20 when he decided he didnt want to be married anymore. I think its a midlife crisis, if you subscribe to that theory. He had the affair, he started dressing like a 20 year old, staying out later and later, drinking etc. Anyway, he walked out on me and my two kids in November 2009 because he wasn't happy. Because of the kids, we still communicate on a regular basis. I paid $2200 to get the separation agreement done up, had to threaten to take him to court halfway through because he was stalling and finally had it finalized in July of this year. So, now Im going to file for divorce. When he left, we had just refinanced the mortgage and paid off all our outstanding debts. The mortgage is in my name. Luckily, my income is such that I can afford to carry the house and kids on my own. He does give me child support, but his paltry income does not provide for much, $444 total for both kids per month. He has waived his right to spousal support, which he is entitled to because I made more money throughout the marriage, and he has waived his portion of equity in the house which is about $18 grand as long as the kids stay in the house until they finish school or until I sell. He knows I am filing for divorce in the coming weeks and has agreed to file jointly. I am hoping since I paid all that money to get the separation agreement done and will be using that as a basis for the final divorce settlement, that I can just file the paperwork myself and not have to pay a lawyer another 2 grand to get the divorce. So I am learning a lot as I go. I am sure I will get lots of good advice and some slaps upside the head on this forum. I welcome it all. Whatever doesn't kill you, make you stronger.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:21 PM
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Hi there! Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:24 PM
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Sounds like you know what you're doing, and you will be able to take the smacks upside the head when you don't Welcome!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Hi. Would you be so kind enough to discuss the different considerations that should be made when drawing up a Separation Agreement? What matters should be discussed and how brief and/or how detailed should this document be? In knowing what you know now, what other topics would you suggest to include in such a document? Your insight will be most helpful.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:57 PM
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Well, nice to see I'm not the only newbie here today. My issues are quite different but I do agree that you seem to be on the right track for getting the divorce settled.

Good Luck to a quick resolution!
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:45 PM
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, in my case I think most of my exhusband's decisions were guilt driven. He had the affair and walked out on us. He willingly waived spousal support and his portion of the equity in the house and my pension, he offered child support. We agreed on joint custody with the kids living with me and he has unlimited access. We had the separation agreement drawn up to reflect his wishes. I wanted it done as soon as possible to protect myself financially as I would have been responsible for half of his debt which he ended up running up pretty quick, had we not had the agreement finalized. The way we did it was to draw up our own separation agreement from a very comprehensive software program that he found and then took it to the lawyer to tweak and make sure everything was accurate. I didn't realize at the time of separation that when a spouse waives spousal support, that is a huge right that they are giving up. If my ex then decided a year down the road that he needed money and wanted spousal support and we had just done up the separation agreement on our own without lawyers, the agreement probably would have not been worth the paper it was written on and any judge would have thrown it out of court. Even with the agreement already drawn up and the most important issues of custody, access, support, and assets already dealt with, it still cost me $2200 to get it drawn up properly by the lawyers. I would advise anyone in my situation to do as much as you can on your own, even if it kills you to cooperate with the other person, to save you money. Money adds up REALLY fast when dealing with the lawyers. I didn't even want to talk or be in the same room as my ex but I forced myself to sit down face to face with him, with two other people as mediators, to hammer out the agreement, as painful as it was. It's a horrible thing to have to go through, to sit down and over the course of 4 hours dissect your 20 year relationship and the disposition of your two kids. Surreal is the best word. The hardest thing to work out for the agreement was all the issues around the kids. He is paying child support and that amount varies depending on a lot of factors. We had to determine where the kids would spend holidays, school breaks, which day they would be picked up and dropped off, what times they were spending at each parent's place for Christmas and other hoilidays, how many access periods per week....it goes on and on. My suggestion is to make it as detailed as possible just in case there is communication breakdown later on and if people are being unreasonable, then you have the detailed agreement to fall back on. When kids turn 14 they can decide how much time, if any, they wish to spend with the parents. My 15 year old son was very angry at his dad after he left and outright refused to see him outside of child care hours. This is my son's legal right, and he knew it and exercised it often. It's hard to anticipate every possible scenario and try to cover it in the agreement. I hope this helps, sorry it's so long.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:26 PM
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You're right, SS in a lengthy marriage like yours could he huge. And waiving the equalization of $18K itself warrants getting an agreement that you can be sure will be recognized by the court.

If I were you I wouldn't be worrying about a grand or two here or there and would ensure that the separation agreement is executed properly and that both of you had independant legal representation.

As it is, your tripping dollars to pick up pennies.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:52 PM
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Well, divorce in Canada is no fault, so as long as you have been living separate and apart for a year, it's automatic that you will get it.

With an already signed off separation agreement, run through independent legal representation on both sides...you should be golden.

However from what you describe, you can't actually GET divorced until November. (You CAN start the process prior to that)

Total cost is around $125 if you do it yourself. (mine cost be about $175, but I had to reorder the marriage certificate and used registered mail for the letters to the registrar)
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:56 PM
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Yes, I spent the $2200 to get the agreement done up properly with lawyers for both of us.
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