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Can you protect against future spousal support claims

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  • Can you protect against future spousal support claims

    Can an individual who enjoys good earnings ADEQUATELY protect themself from getting screwed over if they were to enter into a COMMON LAW situation.

    I suspect a properly executed pre-nup (or co-hab agreement) can protect existing and growth in assets (especially in one's name only). I know in theory both parties can waive spousal support also in a pre-nup. BUT, my research indicates that as time goes by (say 5, 10, 15 years) that a court could very well set aside SS waiving - especially in the event of the dreaded "rule of 65". The gist of it seemed to be that the more time elapsed from the signing of the document, the "weaker" the SS waiver became.

    Is this true ?

    If so, how could one protect themselves against being attacked for SS especially as both parties approached or were already retired.

    I know there are plenty of great potential partners out there, but after getting effed over once, I can't afford to leave myself open to attack again. Is there a way one can "bullet proof" themselves and thereby be somewhat comfortable in having an ongoing, live in arrangement again ?

  • #2
    Don't have children with someone and don't consider a relationship with someone who has minor children living with them/you.

    Live with someone who has more money than you.

    Live with someone who has fabulous health AND disability insurance.

    Make sure that your bank accounts are not shared with your new partner and make sure you have one of your kid's name as joint on bank accounts and put utilities under their names as well. Better yet, put all of your assets in your kids names.

    Don't know your particular situation but these are things I would definitely do if I was stupid enough to move in with someone in the future.


    • #3
      Originally posted by shellshocked22 View Post

      how could one protect themselves against being attacked for SS especially as both parties approached or were already retired.
      Being in that age group (approaching retirement) here are a few suggestions:

      a) live with a family member if you are lonely
      b) get a pet (won't ask for support if things turn sour)
      c) get a tenant/boarder to share household expenses with
      d) don't do it (consider dating as an option to living together)
      e) don't do it ..... (having been effed-over once is enough!)


      • #4
        good points ^ Janibel

        I don't know any people my age who would shack up/play house, particularly if they survived a divorce after years of marriage. Most single people my age keep their own places and travel with love interests. Quite civilized really.


        • #5
          All good points but I guess my question is more that IF you live common law, can you protect yourself against a SS claim or is it impossible ? In particular, will a good pre-nup where both parties waive SS hold up say after 10 or 15 years or more ?


          • #6
            OK, seriously, you are asking that if you enter into a relationship where your partner is dependent on you for support for 15 years, can you arrange through some document to be without any responsibility when you break up?

            The real solution is to not enter into a relationship with someone who is going to be dependent on you.

            Get into a relationship with someone who has a career that they care about.


            • #7
              You can have all the agreements you want but your world may come crashing down around you if your partner gets ill, loses a job or investments go in the tank. Material change of circumstance very well may nullify or void any previously made agreement(s). Also realize that in 15 years laws change and new legal precedents occur which can abruptly alter any agreement you entered into.

              If you don't want to take the chance simply remain single.


              • #8
                So so sad .. I agree with all the posters but as a mom to 3 boys (21, 16 & 14) and who has throughout their childhood tried to teach/raise them in common courtesy and common decency ... I find I'm now trying to teach the how to protect themselves against the opposite sex .. Disheartening to say the least but such is life in the world of Family Law

                Mt line to the 21 yr old when he goes out with friends is "don't stick your dick into crazy" .. Thankfully I "think" he gets it . I'm more worried about the 16 yr old :0/


                • #9
                  It is sad, what ever happened to trust? My S24 has a girl in his life and both of them are so into doing their own thing that I doubt if I will ever have the good fortune of having grand-kids in the future?

                  I don't believe that people are basically more selfish or paranoid nowadays, it would have more to do with the massive injustice of the family law system in general. So many of us have been burned and taken advantage of.

                  Who wants to take that risk? I sure don't. When faced with the prospect of growing old alone or growing old broke - what's worse?


                  • #10
                    Interesting topic for sure....

                    To address some earlier comments.....totally concur that if one has a high income career to make sure you partner with someone else with a good career - obviously get that. BUT....

                    What if one spouse makes say $80,000 (good income for sure and obviously enough to live well on) but the other makes say double that. So I guess the higher income earner is at risk for the gap for SS. Again, this is ASSUMING both parties sign a pre-nup before moving in.

                    Like Arabian mentioned, even if you both make identical incomes but one loses job, gets sick, decides to stop working, etc....doesn't seem fair the higher income earner could be on the hook for SS if they both waive it at the beginning - but obviously Family Law is anything but fair or common sense. Arabian makes another valid point that "they" can "change the rules" any time to make it even more punitive for higher earner.

           I guess even if two consenting, well informed adults with legal assistance "opt out" of the Family Law system, the government will essentially let them render an earlier agreement useless.

                    Like an earlier poster noted, I guess you have choose between living alone or potentially being broke.....

                    So, I guess the consensus is that even if two people WAIVE SS in a pre-nup prior to moving in together, that over time the agreement is essentially useless if one was to challenge in court ?


                    • #11
                      Move to Quebec and don't have kids - DONT SIGN THE CIVIL MARRIAGE! You can live with a person forever and not have any responsibility to support them.

                      VIVE LA QUEBEC!!


                      • #12
                        Shellshocked: I would concur with your summation because of the fact that legal precedents are continually emerging. One lawyer may argue and win a case in January but the case may be brought to an appeals court in September and be overturned. Then the appeals court ruling is used for reference in another case, and so on. Before you know it there would be several recent and relevant cases in CanLII upon which we refer to in our own litigation. This is essentially the process and why it is so important to have a lawyer who keeps abreast of current legal decisions.

                        Not very romantic, unless of course you are a lawyer!

                        Links: Quebec is pretty much a bankrupt socialist "entity" of Canada. The "don't take responsibility - the government will" attitude will someday cost Quebec citizens dearly.
                        Last edited by arabian; 12-06-2013, 12:15 AM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Links17 View Post
                          Move to Quebec and don't have kids - DONT SIGN THE CIVIL MARRIAGE! You can live with a person forever and not have any responsibility to support them.

                          VIVE LA QUEBEC!!

                          It is unfortunate that the government imposes more meaning on our relationships than we want (ie if a couple breaks up, one is liable to take care of the other)


                          • #14
                            Don't get involved with someone who has no education or career. Date someone who genuinely enjoys their work, and who has their own investments.

                            A domestic contract may not stand up decades later, so find out what sort of person you are involved with. Ask your partner to go to a financial planner with you; both of you lay out (disclose!) your financial situation - particularly debt, but also investments, salary, pensions, etc. If you find that you are with someone who has been sensibly taking care of their own affairs for years and enjoys their career, then it is unlikely that they will suddenly change. With the financial planner, discuss things like how you will cover bills, share costs of vacations, save for retirement, and deal with possible future children. Discuss it and get a plan on paper. It won't be binding but you will understand who it is you are dating.

                            If you find you are with someone who has maxed out credit cards, no assets, and has floated from job to job, apartment to apartment, and relationship to relationship, then you might want to rethink moving in together.

                            If you start out well, but they do change, that is the time to sit down and ask what is wrong, and decide if you feel you can accept things like quitting a job, or going back to school. If you don't feel that you care about them enough to stand by them come-what-may, then it would be a good time to consider if you should be with them at all.


                            • #15

                              Excellent advice, Mess. This should be a "sticky". Most of us come to the realization that when the bubble bursts, money becomes the bottom line, not love.

                              Also, when a couple is frank and honest with their assets before marriage, it leads to more credibility in other aspects of their lives as well.


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