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Old 02-29-2008, 10:31 AM
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Default Wow, great site - I'm not alone...

Hello from Brampton everyone...

My wife and I have been separated since July 1, 2004 and we have a 8 year old child that I get every other weekend.

Separation has been stressful for my daughter, who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. She seems to be responding well to the medication she's on and as she matures, the behavioural issues are subsiding.

I had been paying more than the table amounts for child support since I left the family in 2004 and my wife set an application in the Newmarket courts (which I am told are pro-wife) and is now going after me for indefinite spousal support.

In a moment of guilt and remorse for leaving her in 2004, I agreed to sign over my interest in the matrimonial home, which at that time had no equity. The reasoning (apart from being naive) was so that she and my daughter could benefit from the equity as the property value increased. We paid $170k for it in 2002 and the house two doors down recently sold for $360k.

Now she wants 56% of the NDI and since she stayed home for 5 years on the promise that she would improve her skills and re-enter the workforce, she now believes she should be compensated further (than just the house, car, furniture, etc I left her) after I had already agreed to paying support and all extra-ordinary costs.

I have become successful as a result of hard work and agree I should be paying the extra for my child's welfare. However, I have met someone in the last two years who gets along great with my daughter and helps me facilitate self-sufficiency and a sense of responsibility with my daughter. If my salary is cut in half to be shared with my ex-wife then how would I start a new family while I am still young enough (40) and be concerned with their welfare as well as my daughter's if my ex has her hand out every time I improve my earning potential?

I have an interim order that stipulates I am to pay her $1000 in spousal, $875 for child and $275 in extraordinary costs. Her lawyer is now saying that she should be getting $2600 in spousal support. That's three times what I am paying for my daughter! Where is the compromise for NOT being a deadbeat dad and paying her from the day I left?

There's so many other semantic details that confuse and frustrate the hell out of me. The biggest stress is that while I look good on paper, I also took a $27000 CRA tax debt when I left that was for mis-filing charitable donations for work-in-kind that CRA reassessed me for. The money had been spent on renovations and paying off our line of credit while we were married.

So, I had to use my line of credit to the tune of $25000 to get CRA off of my back and used my credit card to the max for the remaining $2000 and initial retainers for lawyers. My debt combined was then costing me $800 a month (minimum payment) and I had to seek credit counseling. Now I have bad credit, no way of borrowing money and lawyers that want at least $10,000 as a retainer since this is going to trial.

The reality is, I was bringing home $4000 a month and got a $10,000 annually. My mandatory overhead monthly was $3100 before luxuries such as food and clothing. So when the interim order imposed $2146 on me a month I had to leave a great job that I had had for 10 years and go seek a better paying job. I did this and now she wants even more money, to the tune of $3775 and she stood up in court yesterday and stated she wouldn't be improving her personal income any time soon and that's why she needs this amount.

She uses the excuse that she has to care for an autistic child without any of the details and yet my daughter is in school full time (regular integration) and when my daughter stays with me she is a normal, eight year old that has to be reminded to make her bed, brush her teeth, etc. She doesn't have meltdowns anymore like she did when she was three or four and is turning out to be quite intelligent, independent and thoughtful - not the demanding, behavourially dysfunctional kid my ex would have everyone believe.

So, long story I know, we all have them. I'm not unique as I've read stories on this board with both sides in worse shape than us. It's comforting to read some of the antidotes and alternative solutions families have found, but my situation does seem a bit different as I made some grave mistakes in this process and the more ambitious and driven I am, the more my ex feels she's entitled to.

Thanks for reading...
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:34 AM
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Welcome aboard!
Glad you found posts that were of benefit.
As you’ve seen we post relative to our own experiences, and successes and set backs.

As far as CS goes it is 100% relative to your income, and if you are paying more than the table amounts out of the goodness of your heart and now feel that it is causing financial burden IE loans and debt etc. I would research the possibility of applying for a change since this is allowed when income changes. It’s a simple matter of setting a date to have your financial info reviewed.

As for SS this is relative to means and need.
Your means to pay and ability to pay “after” they take away CS, and her “need” relative to her ability to become self supportive.

IF the daughter is in school, in the main stream, all day without special needs as you say, then Mom is free for the whole day to take on full time employment.
Have you considered having an independent assessment done on your daughter to show that she functions well within the class room, and that she is capable of continuing within the main stream system?
Get your ducks in a row, show the courts that mom has the whole day to seek and maintain full time employment, and that the daughter has little to no extra needs that would tax Mom’s time during the day taking away from her “ability” to be self supportive and fully employed.

IN the interim you could always seek to have CS varied relative to your actual income.
As for the increase in SS because you now have a better paying job, then it is important that the courts see she is able to work and that the daughter is not hampering that ability.
I’d also get affidavits of teachers clearly explaining how the daughter functions relative to the others in her class. Affidavits from family members and friends of their observations of the daughter and her ability to have decent daily activities, IE she is not incapable of functioning “relatively normally”.

If perhaps her family doctor could also prepare a document explaining her present physical and emotional state that may help you too. This is all about showing that mom is physically capable and that the daughter is not the cause of her inability to gain meaningful employment. But rather this is Mom “using” the daughter to stay home and ask for an increase to SS. If you are lucky it would be reduced, and most important a termination date set on it.
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