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Separated, single income family, how much can I draw for myself?

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  • Separated, single income family, how much can I draw for myself?

    Hi all,

    I've been living at my sisters for about 8 months now. And I'm starting to face the difficult task of driving the divorce forward.

    I'm the sole income earner, and as a family we always were living hand to mouth, beyond our means, etc. Not to digress too much but that was a big part of the reason why the divorce happened.

    In order to keep the peace, and also some serious procrastination on my part, I let this go, but now I want to start taking a portion of my income to start living my life again. My question is what can I expect when I do this? Neither of us have money right now for lawyers, unless she has been building a war chest during this time.

    I'd go to a lawyer to get advice on the subject, but if I come out and say I have no cash on hand, won't they show me the door?

    And to be clear, I'm not trying to just out of the blue take enough for rent and food, and living expenses, but since even taking out 20% of my income would likely cause serious financial havoc for my to be ex, what approach should I take? My salary now is going into a joint bank account, not sure if that is relevant or not.

    Any and all thoughts are appreciated!

  • #2
    Wow, dude....

    I'm assuming no court order/etc in place. What you want to do is give her 30 days notice that you are discontinuing any utilities in your name. (ie. phone, cable, internet, etc.)

    Close that joint account like YESTERDAY.

    You want to pay her table amounts of child support and THAT'S IT. (unless you OWN the home, in which case, if you want to maintain equal equity with her, you should be paying 1/2 the mortgage).

    Right now your STBX has ZERO incentive to settle with you, why would she? She's maintaining her standard of living at YOUR expense. When family's separate, maintaining the existing standard of living is in most cases, impossible. Your ex will need to put on the big girl panties and go to work to support herself and the kids.

    You NEVER should leave the marital home without a signed (and court filed) agreement.


    • #3
      Agreed. You've put yourself in this mess for like 7 months too long. I went to live with my parents for 1 week before returning to my home with the police and getting my home back. She wants out of the marriage that also means she's not entitled to your income or anything else from you.

      My ex wasn't so gentle, not only did she change the locks, she took every penny from all our joint accounts, savings, investments, the car, then she insisted on both child support and spousal support. When we sold the house she got 70% of that money too.

      One income isn't really enough to make it in Canada these days as ONE household, it's never enough as two households. She has to go out and get a job, and both of you will be living in poverty for a long time.


      • #4
        Thanks for the responses. I was hoping to get a separation agreement signed, and have been trying to do that for a while, but it seems like it was just a stall tactic now, and it's time to go to the mattresses, as it were. It's too bad, as I can see whatever equity there is in the home just getting sucked up in petty back and forth between lawyers. It's hard that I can see that but can't do anything about it.

        I'll post back when there is something to update with.


        • #5
          So I met with a lawyer. Looks like I have the right to take out whatever I want. Looks like it time to stop avoiding confrontation, take out some $$ and watch things go kaboom.


          • #6
            You were the sole income earner - but things have changed. She needs to get a job.

            You need to formalize support (CS is easy to determine, SS not so much).

            You need to separate your finances. You need to close all access to credit and assets ASAP.

            You need to decide how much time you will have your kids, and where you will live.

            You need to decide what to do with the matrimonial home.

            You don't have to use lawyers, you can work with her. Having all/most of your money going to her and your house and kids was an okay idea, but it is time to separate all things financial - money, assets, debts, and setup support payments.

            Main thing though is to not trust her (not a bad thing, just prudent) - shut down access to credit, money, and assets.


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