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  • Court - How many times?

    My ex and I have a separation agreement which covers child support, S7 expenses, exchange of financial information annually, etc.

    He has always refused to adhere to the terms of the agreement and every time there is a change to child support or a need to collect S7 expenses, I have to go to court.

    The child is now entering University and the separation agreement has him contributing a proportional share towards these expenses. He is once again refusing to provide financials or make commitment to paying this expense. I know I can go to court, but on the 6th time, I'm beginning to wonder what the point was of the separation agreement, at all.

    When is enough enough? At what point will there be some kind of reprimand or penalty for him choosing to do this every time? For the record, he's never won, and I've always received pretty close to what the agreement states I should. I've self-repped the last 3 times in court because hiring someone to enforce what I hired someone to write seems redundant and a poor use of funds.

    If I do court again, for the 6th time, how do I express to the judge that this is crazy-making, abusive behaviour on his part?

  • #2
    Yes you will be required to go to court.

    What you could do is figure out an amount and have it ordered and then enforced by FRO or another agency if you arenít in Ontario.

    The best way to do this is to look at his historical income changes and estimate. For instance if his income only goes up $1000-2000 per year you can estimate the change and his share/monthly amounts. As part of it you can either ask for an up front amount for the years of school or a monthly amount that can be enforced.

    For instance, his monthly cs could be $500 a month and his annual share for expenses is $3000. You divide the $3000 by 12 and add that to the $500 and have that monthly amount enforced by an agency like FRO.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rockscan View Post
      Yes you will be required to go to court.

      What you could do is figure out an amount and have it ordered and then enforced by FRO or another agency if you arenít in Ontario.

      The best way to do this is to look at his historical income changes and estimate. For instance if his income only goes up $1000-2000 per year you can estimate the change and his share/monthly amounts. As part of it you can either ask for an up front amount for the years of school or a monthly amount that can be enforced.

      For instance, his monthly cs could be $500 a month and his annual share for expenses is $3000. You divide the $3000 by 12 and add that to the $500 and have that monthly amount enforced by an agency like FRO.
      Thank you. I'm aware of how to calculate what is owed, and I'm aware that court will provide the documents I need for FRO to enforce. I've done this 5 times already and feel very confident in moving to the court if I have to.

      I guess my point is, why should I have to? The agreement spells it out, and the previous 5 times I've been awarded according to the agreement. The only new thing that comes out of court is a new order for FRO to enforce.

      Why? Why do I have to do this for a 6th time? I know technically I need the court order for FRO to enforce, but why does the court allow this continual return to court for the same purpose? It seems like both an abuse of the court system and abusive behaviour towards me because I'm either forced to self-rep (he hires a lawyer each time, and loses) or hire a lawyer.

      How do you bring this to the attention of the judge while in the case conferences? 6 times to enforce the original agreement is absolutely nuts. There's never a penalty, never a reprimand, never a negative word directed towards him that could potentially halt the behaviour next time around.

      Comment


      • #4
        Court - How many times?

        They donít really care which is why I say ask for it all up front. If his income isnít going to change dramatically in the four years of school ask for the set amount for four years and be done with it.

        My husband agreed to this as he got tired of fighting with his ex for receipts and documentation. Instead he agreed to a monthly cs amount that will never change for the four years and he agreed to a set amount for each year to be paid up front. His ex forfeited any change option for the four years and he forfeited updating cs each year but now there are no annual updates, no demands for receipts and no ongoing fights. FRO knows to terminate four years from now and his ex has all the money for school.

        If you donít want to go to court, file for an order that covers all years of school and be done with it. CS is xyz until May 2024 and s7 is a monthly amount of abc until May 2024.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't know if his income is going to change. The last time we were in court, the child was still in highschool, but I managed to get 3 years of adjustments (due to income) taken care of at one time. The father is in the United States, so, it isn't just income fluctuations, it is also exchange rate fluctuations to consider.

          This time - the exchange rate has gone down, so the cs he is currently ordered to pay should reduce as of June 2020. I've already provided him with my income information - which went up 20% since the last time we were in court.

          All of this year's adjustments are to his financial benefit - except for his share of tuition. He still won't cooperate.

          The last time in court, I was actually looking for an adjustment to cs based on income change, and the termination of a S7 benefit that I had been previously awarded. So, essentially, I wanted less money than the previous order (due to the end of the S7 expense) and just the normal income adjustment for cs.

          I don't think his stalling and non-cooperation has anything to do with the actual dollars and cents, it's just the way he attempts to bully me into his way, his terms, his everything.

          I've offered up, by way of email, a credit for over payment of child support in this year against his share of tuition expenses (after scholarships) in order to avoid all the paperwork. I reduced the share 5% in order to make the offer palatable to him. I also gave him the option of Consent Motions to solidify this offer. He refuses it.

          If I go to court, can I request a firm dollar amount for each semester's tuition going forward, or is it better if I wait for post-secondary to conclude and then go to court for reimbursement of his share?

          I'm just so tired of court.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tired_of_court View Post
            If I go to court, can I request a firm dollar amount for each semester's tuition going forward, or is it better if I wait for post-secondary to conclude and then go to court for reimbursement of his share?
            .
            Yes. Which is why I suggested you calculate what his share would be this year and apply it to all years. So your motion to change would be for a set amount of cs and an annual amount for school based on kids expenses.

            Skip the exchange calculation. Look at his income and the exchange rate average over the last year. It isnít expected to go up any time soon so his income plus 25%. Then look at his share of expenses. That is calculated as total tuition minus any grants, minus 1/3 to kid and then 2/3 split proportionate to income. Say you waived the tax credit to offset any discrepancies in further annual changes. Then put that and the monthly cs out and request that both be enforced by FRO. You can have the school expenses as a monthly amount too.

            If he wants to be difficult let him, you have been in court before and know what to expect plus your case is pretty cut and dried. By asking for the set amount for the remaining years you avoid having to do this again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rockscan View Post
              Yes. Which is why I suggested you calculate what his share would be this year and apply it to all years. So your motion to change would be for a set amount of cs and an annual amount for school based on kids expenses.

              Skip the exchange calculation. Look at his income and the exchange rate average over the last year. It isnít expected to go up any time soon so his income plus 25%. Then look at his share of expenses. That is calculated as total tuition minus any grants, minus 1/3 to kid and then 2/3 split proportionate to income. Say you waived the tax credit to offset any discrepancies in further annual changes. Then put that and the monthly cs out and request that both be enforced by FRO. You can have the school expenses as a monthly amount too.

              If he wants to be difficult let him, you have been in court before and know what to expect plus your case is pretty cut and dried. By asking for the set amount for the remaining years you avoid having to do this again.
              Unfortunately I can't skip the exchange calculation, as it is now part of the agreement since it was the second trip to the courthouse to enforce the agreement. He was originally in Canada, then moved without notice to the US. I'm to use the Bank of Canada exchange rate on December 31 of the relevant year. Our agreement also doesn't speak to tax credits, and he wouldn't benefit from this credit as he doesn't pay tax in Canada. Our agreement doesn't specify that the child needs to contribute 1/3rd. I understand that this is what judges tend to rule when there is no specific agreement, but I imagine the Judge will expect him to adhere to the agreement unless I consent to this change, right?

              Based on the information I do have, I can come up with a per semester amount that would basically satisfy his requirement provided that tuition doesn't change much over 4 years.

              So, something like the payer providing $4000 per year for two semesters of tuition expenses for those years, half payable on September 1 and January 1? Something along those lines? And use the income I have on file and that child support was calculated for, and then make him go after the reduction in support?

              I'm always concerned about vagueness going into court - but if he won't disclose his financials, vague is all I can achieve at the outset. He never discloses until he is required to as part of the motion.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is the thing, you are seeking a NEW order to replace the OLD order that isnít working. This new order will have a set amount for cs and s7 that is applicable for three to four years to avoid chasing your ex. It doesnít matter what the old order says. What you agreed to in the past isnít working therefore you need a new agreement.

                Within that order you ask that the average exchange rate for the past year be used to calculate cs going forward and you accept that it could change and you would forfeit the difference however it avoids you going to court. You are also seeking a set monthly amount for school expenses based on this year.

                You asked how to avoid court every year and I told you how to do it. You are looking for a new order (not agreement) and to avoid court visits annually you want an order for a four year period. This is his punishment for not working with you annually and wasting the courts time. He loses the ability to modify based on income and exchange rate fluctuations if you win an order for a set amount.

                Clear?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Basically you're saying that the separation agreement was a pointless waste of resources and funds because it doesn't really make him do anything, at all, if he doesn't want to. Which makes me wonder why anyone would spend the amount of money I spent getting that agreement. And when the lawyer told me that agreement would suffice for support for x many years, she was doing so with the understanding that it really wasn't going to be that effective because all he has to do is not cooperate to basically make it worthless.

                  And, despite having an agreement which spells out his responsibilities to the letter, that agreement doesn't actually make him do anything, at all, and that if I want it adhered to then the onus is always on me to go to court to make him adhere to what he already agreed he would adhere to years prior.

                  This isn't punishment, it's accommodation.

                  It gets tiring to always be working around the uncooperativeness of another person and that person bears no consequence for lack of cooperation.

                  Sorry, I'm not angry at the answer, I'm angry at the revolving door that shouldn't be revolving. It's exhausting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Welcome to family law. My husband spent $15,000 getting his agreement and his ex stopped following it the moment she walked in her door after signing. He tried for years to get her to adhere to so many clauses and she refused and then accused him of picking and choosing what he wanted to follow. He then had to pay an additional ten grand in legal fees to get to a settlement conference after she filed a motion for $80,000 in expenses where she finally wised up and agreed to what he had originally offered her before she launched the court process. She had to pay $3000 of his fees but he lost four years to stress and anxiety over her false accusations and riling the kids up. Which is why when he got to that settlement conference and all the amounts had been calculated I said sign the agreement to pay for school up front (he had invested heavily in an RESP) and agree to the cs based on your current income and be done with it because we didnít want to go through the fight with her every bloody year.

                    Thatís why I say ask for an order for the next three to four years covering all your bases and getting you something to enforce. You wonít have to go back to court again and he will be forced to pay it with any changes requiring him going to court. Not only does this solve the money problem, it also takes his bullying power away.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's what I'm going to do. File a Motion for S7 expenses and request $X per semester (no matter what the actual cost is) to be paid on X dates annually.

                      I'm not going to even bring up the child support in my motion because, from what I can tell, child support should go down (big change in the exchange rate) and if he wants this credit, he's going to have to ask for it.

                      I really did offer him up the best scenario that accounted for child support over payment (as ordered anyway, he is 4 months behind through FRO right now), accounted for decreased income for him and increased income for me, and further knocked off 5% of his contribution. I'm not sure I could have offered anything fairer at all and I did so specifically to avoid court. I have a new job, it isn't as easy to get time off work for court, and I'm also taking care of two elderly parents in addition to everything else. I just didn't want to have to deal with it.

                      I appreciate your assistance.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think you also have to have cs on the motion as you are updating the original order but I could be wrong.

                        Have you tried submitting a statement of arrears to FRO for the amount? If your agreement outlines how to calculate it you could just file a statement of arrears with the amount he owes and see what happens.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure about the CS part of that, but will soon tell when I delve into the numbers and paperwork. At present, I couldn't request the correct amount of CS because I don't have income disclosure for the relevant year. I'm guessing it will go down based on the exchange rate only, it may go up if his income did. My offer to him presumed no change in US income, only a change in exchange rate. In prior submissions to the court, I estimated income by applying year over year increases to the last known income amount.

                          I've spoken with FRO on this and they advise they need a definitive number in order to enforce it. I was hoping that since they have confirmed incomes on record that they would do the math per the agreement and enforce that amount, however, they will not. Their job, I was reminded, is to enforce a court order, not create a new order.

                          I tried the statement of arrears way back and FRO just rejected it because he objected, which is how I landed back in court the first time.

                          He delayed the execution of our initial agreement just the right amount of time to ignore a very large income increase on his part. He signed the agreement knowing he made quite a bit more than was previously disclosed and, as a result, saved himself quite a bit in child support. I later forgave that amount in order for him to drop his request for more access. Within a few months he was gone....so, he didn't have access anyway.

                          I already feel manipulated and duped....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is odd to me. How does his income go down with the exchange rate? Doesnít it go up? His income is say 70 grand us which makes it 87,500 canadian. His cs should be based on that amount no?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                              This is odd to me. How does his income go down with the exchange rate? Doesnít it go up? His income is say 70 grand us which makes it 87,500 canadian. His cs should be based on that amount no?
                              The exchange rate used last time in court is higher than the exchange rate I would be using this time. Based on previously agreed upon Bank of Canada rate at December 31 of the relevant year.

                              When I apply the rate to the same income, it goes down from the previous order. Not much, but down none the less.

                              Comment

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