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17 years later

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  • 17 years later

    17 years ago he came home from work and she was gone with half the furniture. She left him with 2 kids in their early teens. The house had recently been remortgaged so there was no equity. She told him if he paid off her credit card (5k) and took her off the mortgage she would sign the house over. He paid her debt and had a friend help him get his own mortgage. They signed a separation agreement using the same lawyer stating property was settled, kids would stay with him, and she would pay a minimal amount of child support. Their incomes were about the same. Of course she never sent him any CS and he just let it slide.

    A year later she moved in with a guy. He stayed basically single until about 5 years ago when he sold the house and bought a new one with his girlfriend.

    All has been amicable since then. He and she and their significant others visit with the kids and grandkids for Christmas and birthdays and other events together.

    This all ended a few months ago. He and his new spouse were getting their wills done and he thought he should finally get his divorce done too. So his lawyer sent off the paperwork. Somewhere in there her boyfriend of 16 years left. She responded to the divorce papers asking for spousal support. She says he benefitted from the separation and she lost. 17 years ago!

    I suggested he ignore her demands. She's found a lawyer that has her thinking she can get something out of it. It's a bluff and she's looking for him to offer anything. His lawyer asked him for the original separation agreement but nobody can seem to find it. He doesn't want to give her anything, but he wants his divorce too.

    I don't know what else to tell him. Family gatherings have stopped because I'm pretty sure a fight would break out.

    Am I right in telling him she has no chance of ever getting anywhere with this?

  • #2
    Um...i believe the standard for SS is that one party benefitted more from the marriage, not the seperation!

    I highly doubt she will get anything, SS requests need to be made within a certain timeframe and this has, most definitely, past.

    He could very politely pass her lawyer a spreadsheet of all of the CS payments she missed and suggest she has no case. If he felt a need to respond at all. IMO, i would ignore it entirely unless and until some legal action is taken, or he can take action himself to move the divorce forward.


    • #3
      I'd agree with blink - ignore. If/when she is served a notice of a motion then she can consider responding...

      Why are these two even communicating anyway?


      • #4
        The letter said if he intends to rely on the separation agreement that she signed without independent legal advice he needs to supply a copy to her lawyer. He can't find it. I told him it doesn't matter anyway.

        I remembered the wording wrong. Her claim says she suffered economic disadvantage as a result of the marriage and it's breakdown, and he enjoyed a corresponding economic advantage. She has a need for SS and he has the ability to pay.

        Yup it says just that. They were married 22 years.


        • #5
          I don't believe he needs to rely on the seperation agreement. He can simply rely on the fact that 17 years post seperation is well beyone any limit to request SS.


          • #6
            Originally posted by arabian View Post
            I'd agree with blink - ignore. If/when she is served a notice of a motion then she can consider responding...

            Why are these two even communicating anyway?
            I didn't say they were? He filed for divorce. Her lawyer responded looking for SS.

            I told him to have his lawyer respond with a big fat no.


            • #7
              Unless lawyer received a legal document (filed in court) then I'd ignore and instruct lawyer to proceed.

              Make sure you "instruct" your lawyer and make it clear that you do not approve them responding to the letter (assuming that is all it is).

              It is pretty typical for lawyers to fire off threatening letters. This is how they make their money (money for letter and hopefully get the two people fighting again).


              • #8
                17 years and no SS paid or requested? Am I reading that correct? The general limitation is you can't come back after 7 years.

                Sounds like the lawyer on the other side is either stupid or a crooked lawyer.


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