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  • Legal Aid Question

    My fiance's ex is qualified for legal aid since she is claiming spousal support. My question, does legal aid put a limit on how much legal fees they will cover?

    She claims she is depressed and can't work, so she's on Family Benefits (ie. welfare). Her legal fees are covered, and she`s asking for $1700 a month, or $80,000 lump sum.

    We can`t afford that - we`re barely getting by now. Also, she hasn`t provided any documentation to support why she can`t work (doctor`s note, perhaps...)

    She can drag this on forever, and he is going through what little savings he has to pay his lawyer and fight her. If there is no limit on her legal aid, we will lose everything...

  • #2
    Hmmm, here is what the Legal Aid website says:

    Legal Aid Ontario: Getting Legal Help

    Legal Aid Ontario does not provide coverage to change a spousal or child support order unless there are significant changes in circumstances.
    I guess that she may meet the test for change in circumstances. I guess you could always call them and pretend to be in a similar situation as her and see if they provide you with a number.

    How is she coming up with this $1,700 a month number? Has she used some sort of calculation based on your husbands income to come up with a number or is she picking it out of the air? How long was the marriage and did she work during the marriage? What skills does she have that are transferrable to the work force?

    The above are all important questions in order to determine how much support may be paid and for how long.

    She has an obligation to support herself also. She cannot say she makes nothing. If she worked before and quit, you could request the court impute her income at the amount she was previously earning.

    As for doctors notes, you will request those in disclosure.


    • #3
      Fact is, she waived spousal support for a $20,000 lump sum payment in the saparation agreement (in 2004). Now she wants support, and she based it on his income last year (a year which he did tons of overtime, not typical).

      She held a few part time jobs while the were married (17 years when she left). She lost her last job in 2007 because she kept missing shifts.

      She claims that she can't get a job because she only has grade 10...I say go back to school! She can get her grade 12 for free. My fiance barely has grade 8, yet he managed to support her and 2 kids all those years while she did nothing! (He had custody after the split).

      His lawyer is requesting proof of this "disability", and asking that they use this year's income for the calculation (much lower). We're also asking why, if she's so depressed she can't work, why isn't she on disability instead of welfare (which pay almost 2x as much)?

      His financial statement show that he's paying out more than he makes already!

      Thanks for the suggestion to call them...just need to know how long she can drag this out!


      • #4
        So there is a 6 year old separation agreement in which she waived SS in exchange for a lump sum. What the agreement propertly executed with independant legal representation? If so she's up a tree to be coming back 6 years later. Let her spout off all she wants.

        What a stiff.


        • #5
          If both sides had independent legal advice when the agreement was drawn up, she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

          Instruct your lawyer to tell her to pound sand and see her in court. If she pushes it, ask for's 6 years after the fact.

          She would have only been looking at 8.5 to 17 years of support anyway, depending if they were actually "married" or not.


          What were the original calculations like? ie. if you go back the 6 years and apply the calculations, does 8.5 years of spousal support come out close to 20,000? If so, then rewrite the agreement, and then get receipts from her for the amount he's already paid...then file it CRA and get your tax credits for it


          • #6
            It's the ILA that's the issue....

            He had the agreement drawn up by a paralegal...standard agreement. He took on all debts and custody and costs for the children (the kids were 16 and 18 at the time, 18 year old was "challenged" and unable to support himself). She got her car (which he had to pay all bills on), anything in the house she wanted, and the $20,000. She also waived all rights to spousal support, equalization, and pension splitting.

            She claims that she was denied ILA and was forced to sign, when in fact she had the right to say no at any time.

            Because he wanted her to sign the deed for the mat home to him (her parents held the mortgage), he needed a lawyer to handle this. At that time, his lawyer insisted that she have ILA, WHICH HE HAD TO PAY FOR (we have the bill).

            The lawyer told us at the first meeting that a request for spousal support is statute barred if not made within 2 years of separation or divorce, meaning she can't have it almost 6 years later. We will be exploring this further with the lawyer.

            As well, she left the mat home and disappeared for over a month (kids didn't even know where she was). She worked part-time then, and she was only to contribute somehow to her own support.

            Her calculations forr the $1700 a month are based on last year's income, not on the income when she left. Last year was around $58,000, when she left $32-$33. Even based at his current income, $1700 a month for 6 years amounts to $122,400, not the $400,00 in back support she is claiming she should have got. Do the math...6 years x 12 months x 1700 = 122,400. Far cry from $400,000!

            Can't really say wht the original calc would have been, but definitely less than $1700 (he made less then). But the equalization, based on the financial statements, would have been around $4,250, and that includes almost $9,000 dollars of excluded property (an inheritance HE recieved last year and kept totally separate from joint property).

            Gonna surf to find the SS calculation and see what she MAY have been entitled to fo 8.5 years since 2004!

            Thanks for your advice guys....look forward to posting good news!


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