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Old 09-01-2012, 11:05 AM
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Hi, new to the forum, lots of informtion here that is useful and appreciated.

A little about myself; I've been married for nearly 10 years, 2 kids 6 & 8 and my wife has been a stay at home mom for the last year. I've been the type of guy who from an early age said that I would never marry or have kids. When I met my wife at 32 that all changed. I fell in love and we had our kids...but there is a part of me that always is eating at me, wanting to be single and alone. I've tried to fight it and thought I overcame it, but for the last 11 years, i've realized it's always been there. Now, for some reason it's come back 10 fold and I am realizing that I love my wife, but that I do not love her the way she needs to be loved in a meaningful relatonship.

So, I am attending counseling, to try and see what is wrong with me, but in the end, I know what's wrong and what it is I want/need and it scares me to hurt the ones I love.

That being said, I'm looking at guidance as to what the appropriate steps are to seperate.
- We own a house, I read alot that if seperating, not to move out until an agreement is reached, may I ask why?
- Unfortunately, we have more debt than assets, how do we go about that?
- She has equal pension compared to me, does that come into play?
- Since she was off for one year, how does spousal support if any?
- If we agree to 50/50 child care, do I owe her child support?

That's about it for now, I thank everyone in advance for their help, direction and guidance.

Mat
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Onza View Post
Hi, new to the forum, lots of informtion here that is useful and appreciated.
Welcome, sorry to have to see you here, and is that your real name? Probably shouldn't be using it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Onza View Post
A little about myself; I've been married for nearly 10 years, 2 kids 6 & 8 and my wife has been a stay at home mom for the last year. I've been the type of guy who from an early age said that I would never marry or have kids. When I met my wife at 32 that all changed. I fell in love and we had our kids...but there is a part of me that always is eating at me, wanting to be single and alone. I've tried to fight it and thought I overcame it, but for the last 11 years, i've realized it's always been there. Now, for some reason it's come back 10 fold and I am realizing that I love my wife, but that I do not love her the way she needs to be loved in a meaningful relatonship.

So, I am attending counseling, to try and see what is wrong with me, but in the end, I know what's wrong and what it is I want/need and it scares me to hurt the ones I love.
Has this been solo counselling, or have you done marriage counselling? You probably shouldn't just be making assumptions about how your wife needs to be loved. That's entirely her call.

Maybe you just need a man cave to be able to retreat to more often for alone time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Onza View Post
That being said, I'm looking at guidance as to what the appropriate steps are to seperate.
- We own a house, I read alot that if seperating, not to move out until an agreement is reached, may I ask why?
- Unfortunately, we have more debt than assets, how do we go about that?
- She has equal pension compared to me, does that come into play?
- Since she was off for one year, how does spousal support if any?
- If we agree to 50/50 child care, do I owe her child support?
Absolutely do not move out, if at all possible. It really puts you behind the eight-ball for getting what you want in a separation agreement. It's like saying you're okay with the ex keeping the house and having greater access to the children than you get. Don't move out until you have the agreement signed. Live as roommates as long as you can.

Equalization means that you divide up the assets and debts fairly, based on how they increased during the marriage. You get to keep what you came into the marriage with though, with the exception that the home is always divided equally. If you have more debt than assets, you'll have to decided who ends up with what obligations as fairly as possible.

Remember, you are only dividing up the increase in the pensions over the course of the marriage. If they are still equal, great, she keeps hers and you keep yours and save a lot of paperwork. If they are not equal, one of you is going to owe the other some money, or let them keep more of the assets, or let them take on less of the debt.

If she has been off the last year, that implies she had a career before that. She can probably go back to it or something similar, and you don't need to pay her spousal support at all. She may argue that she wants it. You could end up in court arguing till lawyers get all your nonexistent money, or you could negotiate till you are satisfied, or at least equally unhappy about the amount. Do some research in this area.

Glad to hear you want 50-50 custody even though you save said you are ending the marriage because you like being alone. It is best for the kids to have both parents equally involved in their lives. Child support would be based on the offset method, based on both of your incomes. As she isn't employed, you use the income she ought to be able to earn if she was employed. Do some research on imputing an income. If you are separating, she can't just not support her children and expect you to do all of it.

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:37 AM
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- We own a house, I read alot that if seperating, not to move out until an agreement is reached, may I ask why?
Primarily for question of custody and access. While you are living in the home you can make a point of being an equal parent, spending time with the kids, taking them to sports practice, staying home from work with them when they are ill. This establishes you as an equal parent and it makes it easier to support an argument for 50/50.

If you move out without an agreement you may end up losing or limiting your time with the children. Court can drag on for months and a status quo has been established.

- Unfortunately, we have more debt than assets, how do we go about that?
Debt is not split. It is subtracted from assets so that the net asset is split. It is hard to say what it will end up without looking at numbers. If all the debt is in your name, she may still end up with an equalization payment. If you each have roughly the same personal asset and personal debt, then you probably won't end up splitting anything.

- She has equal pension compared to me, does that come into play?
Pensions will be considered assets. If they are roughly equal they may cancel each other out.

- Since she was off for one year, how does spousal support if any?
One year will mean nothing. Why was she off, the children are school age? Entitlement will have to be established first; she will have to prove that her career was somehow limited by the marriage. From your description that doesn't seem to be the case.

- If we agree to 50/50 child care, do I owe her child support?
Child support would be calculated according to each of your incomes. You would "pay each other." If you were to pay $1000 per month and she was to pay $800, then you would pay the net, $200.

If this were me, I would suggest that since there is no net assets between you, that you two sign off on equalization and avoid several thousand in legal fees doing a formal accounting. When you go to the lawyers you would have to be firm; the lawyer will want to do a NFP because they can charge you for the work. They will convice you it is necessary. It is not; if you and your wife agree, then there is nothing to split. However you need a legally binding agreement, or she could change her mind later. Often times people get bad advice from their friends and relatives, "You can take him to the cleaners!" and their lawyer will be perfectly willing to prolong negotiations or court, even if there really is maybe only a few hundred difference between you. This is an area where you must stay amicable and be open and fair. It would be different if you had a half-million in assets, it would be worth it to both of you to have a professional do a proper calculation. But from your description you would be paying a law clerk $1000 or more to do an NFP only to find there was nothing to split.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:51 AM
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Thanks Rioe, not my real name...LOL
As for what my wife wants, I do know what my she wants, she's expressed it and I've come to realize, that can't give that to her.
I still want to be involved in my kids life, as much as I can.

As far as debt goed, are we responsible for our equal share of the debt?

Yes, she had a governemnt job prior to becoming a stay at home mom.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:41 PM
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Do your homework before going further into prospective divorce ! Don't underestimate the financial devastation that can result from it which can literally screw up your life ! I'm not being melodramatic my friend.

Despite what some "recipients" may think, the system is unfair to the higher wage earner explicitly and men in "subtle" ways ! The fact that you have young children and she is currently stay at home mom isn't good from your perspective !

Be warned that even if things start out "amicably" the odds are VERY high that once lawyers get involved (its next to impossible to have a somewhat binding deal without them) they will escalate tensions which in turn makes things turn very nasty very fast.

It's too late now but you should have gone with your first instinct my friend and stayed single !!! I wish I had !!!!!!!

Most guys on here can likely guarantee you'll get screwed over somehow, the trick is to try and minimize the damage both in amount and duration.

I'm being punished big time for a long time for the horrible crime of marrying someone who earned significantly less than me. At least it sounds like she had a job/career and earned similar money to you ? That might save you from getting wiped out but don't count on it.

Get DETAILED info from a GOOD lawyer and make your choice then. don't go on what "friends" "think" !!!

It can get very complicated. Good luck and I'm sorry you didn't go with your first instinct to stay single (I made the same mistake lol !
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:09 AM
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Blink 182 - Stay Together for the kids - YouTube

A song that all separating and divorcing parents should listen to... There are other people who get thrown into the mix who are often forgotten... The children.

Always remember the impact that the adult decisions regarding the parental relationship impact the most important people in the whole matter - the children.

This is why the Children's Law Reform Act outlines the "Best Interests" of the children as the primary factor when determining custody and access... Not the "parents" best interests.

The song is a message from a child going through separation and divorce to the parents.

"Rather than fix the problems they never solve them?"
"We get along so why can't they?"

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:27 AM
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After reading your post, my gut feeling is to try and work out the separation as amicably as possible. Write her a letter and read it to her. Be honest and compassionate. She will be devastated at first, but in time she'll understand.... Best of luck!
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