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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2009, 07:59 PM
Panda Panda is offline
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Question I refused to pay costs of Divorce action

Hello,
My husband made 2 claims - one for divorce and another for paying costs of action (no amount or limit mentioned). His income over $80,000, mine - around $10,000. No children or common property. Since I cannot agree to pay unlimited/unknown amount of money, I agreed for a divorce (and did not ask him to pay my expenses or provide me a support) but refused to pay his fees based on my low income. It has been 3 months since I filed my reply - nothing happened. I called the court and a woman told me that I need to hire a lawer since I do not want to pay. I do not have money, Legal Aid seems to be a trouble to get, does anyone have a suggestion (other than shoot myself)?
Thank you,
  #2  
Old 01-24-2009, 12:47 AM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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Is his request/claim for costs coming from him? Have you gone through the process to the point where you have had a divorce trial? If he is just asking for the costs as part of your settlement I dont think that you have to agree. It is a very different story if the Judge has ordered you to pay costs. I cant tell you one way or the other how that will go.That will be the only way he would get costs. It seems that he is just trying to get you to pay because he is being greedy and he thinks you dont know better. But ha ha to him because you have asked here.

From what I can understand is that you are just at the point where you are trying to negotiate who gets what, am I correct. Dont agree to paying his costs at this point. Please write me back so I can get a better understanding of where you are at with this.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:30 AM
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Thank you for responding so quickly. I will give you some background.

1. We had agreed that we would both just ‘walk away’ and neither would ask the other for anything and he had said he would process the divorce where he lives.
2. I received the Statement of Claim for Divorce (already filed with the court) that asked for (1) Divorce and (2) Costs. He told me that the claim for Costs was a standard part of the form.
3. Although he told me he had only spent $200, there was no amount given for ‘Costs’ and I know he has a lawyer friend who helps him. I was concerned that this friend could easily produce a large bill for the work he was supposedly doing for free.
4. When I asked him to change the Claim he refused, saying it would be difficult and expensive for him to do so and that he would not bother to go after Costs anyway.
5. As he would not change the Claim, I filed a response with the court (sending copy to my husband) saying that I accepted the claim for Divorce but asking that the claim for Costs be rejected because (1) he stated he did not mean to ask for costs and (2) my income barely meets the cost of living.
6. After a few months I phoned the Court house to ask for the status. The person at the court house said that I had stopped the proceedings by objecting to one of the claims and that now I need to hire a lawyer.

I have asked my husband for the status of the divorce (no response yet).

What I don’t know is what I can do myself right now, given that I do not have the resources to hire a lawyer or to travel to the court where the Claim was filed.

My main concerns that are keeping me awake are:
  • If my husband does nothing, what will happen to the divorce? I cannot file my own claim for divorce while his is started, so does this mean the divorce will never occur?
  • If he still insists on this Claim for costs what can happen? I would not be able to travel to the court. And I would not be able to pay any Costs.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:11 PM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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It is good that you have come here to ask questions. There is alot that you can do all on your own. You would be self represented. It can be slower but can be done.
First bit of advice is to keep records of everything that you can. A journal is very helpful to keep track of what was said and to whom. Even if you may think it trival jot a note down about it. May never need the bit of info but also serves as evidence and record. From there keep with it all letters agreements etc. So get things in writing when ever you can.

I am going to ponder all you have said and ask my spouse as his oppinions as well. But in the meantime you mentioned that you have asked him the status. Have you recieved any paperwork from him or his lawyer friend? If you have not my guess is that it has not gone far. As I am sure you realize there is a process to go through. Certain papers have to be filed etc and you will have to appear in court. Generally it cannot be granted with out your knowledge. If he has not filed the papers you can as well. So you need to find out what has been done. If he is reasonable enough to talk to he should be willing and such to let you know. If he has filed a Motion then you sould have been served notice of that.

I will leave it at that for now. Try not to worry too much. All here can help to guide you thru what needs to be done and let you know what should happen and has to happen. I will write again later today.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:52 PM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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Still waiting for some input from my spouse but have some info regarding those "costs". In most divorces there does arrise the issue of costs and if you are going the court route your costs would be considered in this as well when a Judge is making that decision.
I will give you 2 scenarios to think on.
1. With my divorce It was my ex who filed the papers in 2006. We went all the way to trial Dec 07. I was granted costs plus for other appearances. Divorce has yet to be granted as he took it into an appeal.(coming up this june) It had little to do with the income factors. We went in uncontested. Both had Lawyers. My ex has been bringing nuisance motions into court, I did not ask for but under order was given costs if he does so again. I dont know for sure but it is my feeling that I will be given costs again when the appeal is heard.
2. My new spouse has been in a long battle to end his support for now adult children (30to24yrs old) He just won. The judge requested costs and we will be hearing in the next few weeks if granted. But my point being is to show you some examples. If he gets it it will be because of the negligence in the case and his lawyer good use of presenting other cases that were awarded costs for the same reasons.
One thought we both shared was that costs have to be legitimate and substantiated. So to make it a valid cost I would think he has to show proof that he has retained a lawyer. As you say he has a buddy. Good for him, free advice, but likelihood it would be considered substantiated, I would think not that great. As well the lawyer has to list what he spent that money on.
We both have long stories as you can see.
One suggestion I would give to anyone is to try and work out as much as you can your selves and document what you agreed upon. If the two of you are still on speaking terms why dont you give it a try and see if such can be done. That way if and when you ever do get to court there is less for them to deal with and again Both of you save $$$$. Any other questions please feel free to ask me or anyone else. But hope this helps some.

As an after thought The person who told you to seek a lawyer was thinking of your best interests as they would give advice etc etc. No I am not knocking lawyers at all. But the key is educating yourself so that you can protect your interests and there are many resources available as well as a lawyer.
  #6  
Old 01-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Panda Panda is offline
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Thank you for your reply and support!
I have not heard from my husband yet. Also, I have not been served with any documents since I was served with the Statement of Claim for Divorce. So I have no idea what is going on. If my husband does not reply within the next week, what do you suggest I should do?
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:54 PM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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Hi again
I spoke to my spouse and he had 2 thoughts.

The first are you in any great hurry for this divorce? It appears you are not making any claims for support, you have no joint property? and how about debts? If you have anything you can split that on your own. I re-negotiated half on my own and he took my name off the other. Done. Just get proof that this was done. Now covering all of those points if there are no pressing reasons for YOU to rush. Wait him out, if he is so insistant let him do what has to be done. So far, you both are not contesting, so nothing is pressing as far as we can tell. But by your waiting he has the burden of getting off his buttif he wants it so much.

The other route you can take and as far as we can tell there is no other reason why you cannot go into your local court house and file for divorce. get them to give you the proper forms and let THEM take care of it. Any court clerk out there will give you that standard answer You need a lawyer.
You can do this on your own. By asking alot of questions you can find out what needs to be done in what order.
I am going to write you back later this evening and send you a link to a web page that will give you the forms and you can print them out if you dont think the court clerk will help much. That way you bring them in the forms and say here you go. An uncontested divorce does not have to be a big production, unfortuneatly like my EX he is carrying this to extemes. another story for another day LOL.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:42 PM
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Hi,

Thank you for checking this for me.
  • I am not in a big hurry, but I have been trying to get out of this marriage for 3 years now. I tried to do it in the country I came from at my own expenses (he was not asked to pay anything), but it was taking long time because he is not citizen of my country. At the end my husband accused me of not being able to do anything or doing something illegal. So I suggested he did it himself. That was my mistake…
  • I do not know if I can file for divorce because it has been already filed by my husband. I know for sure that I cannot file it in my country of origin now, because it is filed here.
  • Re debts, when I left him, we (he?) had debt for a car. I had never used the car, nor did I ask for a “piece” of it. Do you think he can ask me to pay this debt?
There is an old saying “If you really want to know your husband, divorce him”. I cannot agree with it more…
  #9  
Old 01-25-2009, 11:14 PM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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Did you co sign on the car loan? It is something that you may be able to get him to take on himself as he is the one who uses and has may have sole registration on it.
  #10  
Old 01-25-2009, 11:26 PM
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No, I did not sign on the car loan. Thank God!
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