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  • Spousal Support?

    Hello, my wife and I are going through a seperation. We were married 9 years and I am 30 she is 28. We have 2 kids, 9 and 3. I made 67k (2300 hours worked and she made 27K (2100 hours worked) last year. We have a temporary agreement in place with 50% time each with the kids. We each have our own place and have been folloiwng the temp agreement for about 3 months. All assets we have agreed how to split, child support is agreed too also. I am being told I will have to pay spousal. I am looking at a cash settlement, and we will rotate gov't beneifits for the kids. In the early stages I saw a few lawyers and all said I would not have to pay spousal. Also a firend talked to a lawyer recently and he said I should not have to pay spousal unless she is sick. I don't know if she is.

    She had cheated for over a year with at least 2 different men, and I just found out about 4 months ago. Her latest boyfirend has threatened me and tried to get me to fight him on 2 different occasions. I filed reports with police both times.

    Do I have to pay spousal support?

  • #2
    I'm not a lawyer, but I can't see how a judge wouldn't impose spousal here. You make $40K/year more than she does - I would think they'd definately try to even that up a bit via support.


    • #3
      I am truly amazed at how a lot of women at such a disadvantage for not being able to take care of themselves and their financial affairs.
      It seems as if everybody enters into a marriage to get rich off the other.
      I was first marriage was at age 18 and divorced at age 27, with 3 children on my own. Child support, spousal support was never in my thought.
      I learnt the true meaning of being independent. I go married for the second time with no children from that marriage.
      I fight, I struggled on my own, and I cannot begin to express how much better I am today. Children are now grown, in good jobs, also strongly independent, I suuport them in the choices in life, like myself, they have learnt strength.
      Five years ago, I burried my first husband, a man who did not care of my
      children or my existence for many many years.
      Women need to be strong for themselves and for their children. and not see marriage as a pension plan.


      • #4
        I totally agree. Many women give up jobs and careers to take care of their children, a move that is probably supported by their husbands. When women finally decide to re-enter the workforce, their careers have lost momentum or their skills are outdated. Regardless if they are married or not, they have to update their skills, change career paths etc.

        It was a decision made by a married couple as to what's best for their children. Why should only the mother pay the financial consequences when they divorce? If they stay together then both parents must suffer from the lower wage and know that they did whay was best for their kids.
        Why should it be any differnt if divorce happens?

        there ARE many mothers who have done what you did. Got no help from the fathers and worked their butts off to do whatever they could for their kids. Mine did and I will do that for my daughter as well. Trust me, your kids know what you sacrificed for them and are proud. Don't worry about the ride other people get, as long as you enjoy yours.


        • #5
          Strong opinions

          Everyone seems to have their own opinion. The first reply seemed to answer my question. However I will give my opnion of the situation.

          When 2 people make a commitment to marriage and children they are making just that, a commitment. In our case we had ZERO when we got married, we were both making the same hourly wage, about $13/hr. And she could work 28 hours and I could work 40.

          In my case I had a job that I could move up the ladder, and her case she did not (union based job). We both have stayed at the same employer sinse marriage. I have increased my pay significantly and she has not. We raised 2 wonderfull children, we built 4 houses in the 9 years (almost all of the work being done by me). We built up about 200k in assets (paid our house off). We worked so hard to get there. This january we moved into our final home, built how we wanted it. I vowed to stop working so much, my wife wanted to start some schooling and become a nurse. Our youngest child would be in school in 2010, and she could finally build a carreer for her self outside her 28hr/week union job. Everything seemed perfect in our lives to move forward. We went to vacation for 4 weeks in austrailia to celebrate.

          She started cheating on me before we started building that house (6 months before). It was her idea to build it. She talked me into one more. The last one. I was ready to stop working so hard before that house and spend more time with my family and more time with my wife and not wait untill January 2009.

          If she was not happy she should have told me, seriously told me. Not sabatoge me. Its like the last year and 11 months she has planned this. She could have gave me a chance to make her happy and show her I was more interested in her than making money.

          She asked me to leave the day after my 30 th birthday (end of June). 1 1/2 years after her first kiss with another man. I did not take her serious, we had been in a fight. Two more days the same, i then took her seriously. I did everything possible to make up with her. I was losing my mind not understanding why she wanted to seperate. I thought our marriage/family was great. I knew things had been tough as we worked to get ahead, but we always had so much family time and everyone thought we were the perfect family. I was going crazy trying to make up with her. We went to counciling, I took all the blame in our meetings, I was believing everything was my fault. She lied and lied to the councillar. She called me jealous, insecure, freak as i started to question more and more things. I felt beat, tired, and useless for that one month.

          She had a secret appointment with a divorce lawyer and was going to leave me without telling me anything. I would have surely lost my mind and for sure would have thought so bad of myself. I found out by chance 4 days before her appointment and 4 days before our 9th year anniversary. Note: she also may have aborted what could have been my baby, 7 days after i found out about the cheating. she said it was a miscarriage.

          4 months later I am doing alot better. Levelled off with the emotions, focusing on my kids 100%. Moving on with life.

          We are doing all the splitting what is considered "Legally fair".

          I am participating in this, but have seen the faults in the system. NO FAULT DIVORCE SYSTEM. Makes marriage a joke if one of the two is not "truly" commited. All the stuff above does not matter one tiny bit it seems in the "legally fair" world.

          After I found out, I was still commited to my marriage, I wanted to try my hardest, 110% to make things work. Of course it takes 2 and she was not willing. She wanted the seperation, no matter how much I did not want it. I had no choice but too agree or to risk her freaking on me and calling the police or something with a false accusation. Also I saw a laywer in the beginning and was told, she is a part time worker and I am full time, so she will get the kids most of the time and I should take them 1/2 the time while she is willing to give them 1/2 the time, becasue in court they do not care about what she did.

          For all these reasons, NO, I do not feel I should have to support a women that choose to leave, choose to destroy our family, choose to live a life on her own, choose to step outside our commitment.

          That is my opinion.


          • #6
            The unfortunate thing is this is the way the system works,
            and if our partner does not have a heart, we have to pay the penalty.
            At 55, I have worked my way to min. indebtedness, children have all gron big, have good jobs and leave home and living diff. countries.
            I have met a 68 year old man, who is severly indebted with with 57 year old wife, and has moved out of his home i year, overshadowing him is a mortgage of 470,000- a pension that he receives $2500 monthly, and his spouse earns 6,500 monthly. She cannot carry a mortgage as even with that earnings, she is so indebted. The house has lost value and will be sold for less than the mortgage, with no funds from either to offset the diff.
            What have they done, what what do they have to show for this huge debt moving from $150,000 , only God can answer.

            This is a mixedup world.


            • #7
              Shocked Husband,

              I am so sorry that your wife did not make any effort. Yes she should have told you she was not happy. It seems you would have been willing to move the earth for her. Too bad for her.
              Unfortunately it is not your decision whether you have to pay spousal support or not, it is up to your wife to ask for it or refuse it. The court would probably award it to her, given the difference in your incomes. THe lawyers who told you there would be no spousal support flat out lied to you.

              What kind of job does she do? Is there any chance she can increase her hours? Does she still want to go back to nursing school? Since that was the plan before all this happened maybe you can offer to pay for her schooling instead of spousal support? THat way she would be able to earn a higher wage in 4 years, and she would also gain skills.

              Whatever you 2 decide, there are options. The trick is to try not to let your emotions, especially your hurt, show while you are negotiating. Good Luck


              • #8
                She works at a grocery store and is listed part time. But for the last two years she worked as a receptionist at a doctors office too. She worked over 2000 hours last year and about 1800 the year before, in total between bith jobs.

                The thing is she worked all those hours and I was not very supportive of it. My kids were bounced between babysitters all the time, becasue her schedule was totally different every week. I was at the point of quitting my job to stay home with the kids full time. This did cause alot of arguments.

                So we have negotioated her income based on 28 hours/week (this total then equates the child support and spousal). I was OK with 28 hrs/week becasue I don't really want her to work more than that any way, untill our youngest is in school next year, so our youngest is not at a babysitter everyday she has them. Well it backfired. She turned down the job she just got offered at the doctors (3 more days a week on top of her 28 hours/grocery store). She does not have to work all 28 hours. She is top seniority and can work whatever she wants. I was OK she turned it down. But instead of being with the kids when she has them, she purposely arranges her schedule so she has the weekends off and can go away and see her boyfreind or he can come and see her all weeekned. We arranged our schedule with the kids for me too have most of the weekend days with them, because I never work weekends, and she always has. Well she now takes them off and works during the week when she has the kids. So the kids end up with a babysitter any way, and she makes less money, and I pay more.

                The good thing though is I get to be the babysitter alot, so I guess it is worth the money I pay in a sense.

                Everything is just very frustrating and it always seems like you never win financially in this process, no matter how honest and fair you try to be. But at the end of the day, i would rather feel good and get nothing, then feel bad and get everything.


                • #9
                  It sounds like you have the right attitude, you must be a great dad!

                  Keep track of the time you have the kids. Do you get to count the time you are "babysitting" for her as your time? if this works out to more than 60% of the time then she should be paying you CS. If she now goes away for weekends could you take the kids?

                  Also, are you paying full CS? You should be paying the differnce between what she would pay and what you would pay.


                  • #10
                    The way my lawyer explained it to me, when child support is calculated it is just on line 150 of the tax return. Things like Child tax credit are not included.

                    But when Spousal is calculated, it includes all money coming in, including Child Support and government benefits. If that amount is more than 45% of the payor's income, it would be really unlikely that Spousal would be paid.

                    At your income, I would offer to sign over the Child Tax Credit and related benefits. The mother would receive probably $700-800 per month at her income level. You would receive around $130. I'm going by our numbers which are similar.

                    Revenue Canada will be satisfied with just a letter from you indicating she has the kids the majority of the time. Have it written into the separation agreement that she gets the government child benefits, but that your access stays within 60/40. Write Revenue Canada that she has the kids 4 days plus a few hours and that you consider this sufficient for her to have the full benefit. Don't write anything too specific.

                    Now why do this, she gets a significant amount of money, it should put her over the top so that you don't pay Spousal, and you can offer this as a negotiating tactic to get her to agree to no spousal.

                    She would not get Spousal for more than a couple of years at most, she is not unskilled, she hasn't been completely out of the workforce. She could get the Child benefits for another 15 years. It is a good offer if you sell it to her right. But make sure you get your half out of the deal, no spousal.

                    Since you are agreeing on Child Support, she would have to sue you for just spousal if she really wants it, and honestly she won't qualify for more than a few hundred for a couple of years and it won't be worth the legal costs. You are making a very reasonable offer that is lucretive for her and long term, so she has very little reason to turn this down.


                    • #11
                      I pay the difference for the child support.

                      I have not heard of the babysitting time counting as "my time", but again this is all new to me.

                      I watch them for her every opportunity I can, usualy Thursday nights and on weekends when she has them. She has them 3 out 8 weekend days in a 4 week rotation. And for some strange reason she always seems to be working on the weekend days she has them, and off when she does not have them.

                      Though I should not downplay her so bad, she really does care for the kids, they are just not #1 in her life right now as she claims. She does work 16 of her 28 hours on monday and tuesday when I have the kids, and she will come to my house and watch them for an hour and a half before I get home on the monday and tues, when it fits her love life schedule, as the past weekend she was out of town at his place (thank god he lives 3 hours away) and she went in to work late monday by 4.5 hours so she had to work late and could not come stay with the kids for an hour and a half till i got home on Monday.

                      Note: my sitter is scheduled all day mon and tues and it is just a bonus for the kids if they get to see their mom during this time. My kids really do love their mom and i will never take that away from them. And nobody is better for watching the kids then one of their parents, especially right now the kids need their parents love as often as they can get it.

                      We both are trying our best to do whats best for the kids, I just think I am driving it a bit more than her.

                      I just get frustrated because she only has to work 28 hours as per our negotiated spousal and child support payments, even though she has access to work 40+ hours/week and has always worked more than 28/week in the past, and I assumed she would use all that time she was working less to be with the kids and give them the attention they deserve, well that is not quite the case. She could work all her 28 hours when she doesn't have the kids without needing a sitter one day if she really wanted too, but instead they end up with a sitter 12 hours a week. Well the sitter is usually me anyways

                      Anyways it could be alot worse and we are being as amicable as possible for the kids best interest.

                      I try to devote myself and my schedule 100% to their needs and sometimes I just expect her to be doing the same. And to me when it comes to the kids needs, sometimes/alot of times the mole hill becomes a mountain.

                      And probably my wife felt like she couldn't keep up to me for a long time and I gave too much to the kids and not enough to her and that made her sad/depressed/upset and for sure I didn't really notice how she was feeling...She had to hit me in the head with a baseball bat before I realized how she was feeling (when she asked me to seperate 3 days in a row). I just wished she would have wacked me in the head before she started to cheat and gave me a chance. Well you can't change the past you can only learn from it....

                      P.S Thanks for the great dad thing, that is one thing that does make me feel good during this time.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the info. This is interesting. I was under the impression that if I gave her all the benefits, I could not claim anything on my income tax that had to do with the kids. (i.e claiming a dependant which is a 1800 dollar tax credit/year and the child amount which would be 600 dollars every other year if we rotated that)

                        But if you say we can right the letter like that to the gov't then I am sure I can still claim those things and just have to give up the child tax beneifit and universal benefit.

                        I will have to find out about that as I thought you had to basically lie to the gov't and say she had them 100% of the time. I really don't like lieing to the tax people.


                        • #13
                          It sounds to me like you are taking way more responsibility for the breakdown in your marriage than she is. YOU deserve the kids, and YOU are doing everything you can to make their lives happy. Be proud of the father you are!

                          If you are babysitting the kids on her time, then it counts as your time. If this was only once in a while, I could see not bothering to count it that way, but it sounds like it is quite often that she is working when she's supposed to have them. You keep rescuing her and letting her get away with it. A responsible parent would either rearrange her work schedule to fit in with her child's schedule, or try to change things with you, NOT ask you to "babysit" all the time. She is taking advantage of your desire to be with your kids, and she will continue doing it as long as you allow her to.

                          I hope you aren't taking this the wrong way. You sound very reasonable but I think she is not being responsible at all. Let her know that when you are babysitting that it will count towards your time. You are entitled to claim one child as a dependant, and she can claim the other. You should each be getting half of the tax benefits.

                          Your kids need a strong father. Be one for them.


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