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Sep Agmt; How long/how much ?

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  • Sep Agmt; How long/how much ?

    I'm really hoping my ex and I can quickly and as inexpensively as possible get our Sep Agmt finalized.

    However, can those who have (or are) going through it, assuming the parties CANNOT come to an agreement on some issues and end up having to go through all the intermediate steps and with those failing end up going to court...

    On average, HOW LONG could it take to go through all this crap including the trial ? On average, HOW MUCH money would each side tend to spend on lawyers ?

    Just curious on what this nightmare might end up costing by the time its done.....

  • #2
    My best advice would be to keep things out of court if at all possible. I think this is where a majority of people spend a vast amount of money. If you two can't communicate and agree together (and remember this doesn't mean you get all you want, there has to be some give and take) the next step should be mediation...try hard at this, but again if this doesn't work seek a lawyer. Your last resort should be court...
    My bf and his stbx have been dealing with this for over a year and a half, I know others have been double, or even triple or more that time. To date we have spent a few thousand dollars...remember once lawyers are involved you can basically see you bak account drop.


    • #3
      I agree with you. However, as you know, for a Sep Agmt to be binding both parties need to have legal advice. My ex and I spent a lot of time reviewing the agreement BEFORE going to lawyers to ensure it was "ballpark" acceptable. Of course, as I was afraid would happen, as soon as her lawyer became involved she is now starting to "change her mind" on some important issues. Obviously, lawyer is trying to get her to screw me over (sigh.....).

      I hope I'm wrong but I'm getting bad "vibes" on this.....

      I just wanted to know how long this could likely drag out if things were fought to the bitter end both time and money wise. I know it can be a long time/ big $$$ but I'm curious as to how bad this is going to ruin me financially.

      I did my best to be fair and gave her my "best offer first" rather than playing games/lowballing initially. There's not that much more to squeeze out of me but of course her lawyer will be encouraging her to crucify/bankrupt me in court and trying to drag this out as long as possible to ramp up legal fees. I know that's their job but just seems so wrong to bankrupt families and children in this effing evil system we have here.

      So, what are some "worse case" scenarios my friends.......

      I have a distinct feeling I"m pretty much going to be financially ruined by this. Sad to think my life is effectively over just because my wife is "bored" at home...... To think I WAS going to have a comfortable retirement and be able to send my kids to university; I suspect those goals are pretty well destroyed now.........

      If I had any balls (and it wouldn't make her so gleeful) I should've simply blown my brains out on the courtroom floor to make a statement......


      • #4
        The advice I got from a lawyer was to litigate is anywhere from $2K - $20K and the price depends on me. Read between the lines and they meant if I am prepared to accept everything the other side asks for. I also know a common law mom that left within 8 months and has their 6 month old that has already spent $35K and she is just post CC. Hard to tell.
        On another note, if you have children together I would ask for a mutual clause stating neither bio parent will introduce the child(ren) to a new romantic partner for at least a year as relationships may not last and also because the sexual abuse stats state that it is most likely to be perpetrated by someone the victim knows.


        • #5
          Originally posted by FaithandMorals View Post
          On another note, if you have children together I would ask for a mutual clause stating neither bio parent will introduce the child(ren) to a new romantic partner for at least a year as relationships may not last and also because the sexual abuse stats state that it is most likely to be perpetrated by someone the victim knows.
          I don't think this clause will stand... you have no say in what the other parent does on his/her parenting time. If they want to introduce a new partner then so be it and I would be very surprised if the other side agreed to this...
          Stuff like that is what is going to end up costing you the big bucks bcause it will be a battle to get anyone to agree.


          • #6
            I am four years separated, 2 years divorced, $10,000 in legal fees and STILL don't have a finalized separation agreement.
            As of right now I'm not doing anything..Over the 4 years everytime the other side proposed something I generally accepted it - if I changed anything they came back with 5 other things they wanted to change that I hadn't touched.
            So then I just started saying ok to everything but still they initiated changes in stuff they had originally proposed.

            I"m just sitting here doing nothing now, I'm not gonna spend another cent on an agreement that he never follows anyway.

            Avoid letting the lawyers go to town..cause they will.


            • #7
              11 months using lawyers with me. Legal costs about 15k for me, who knows for her. Could have been cheaper but she refused to communicate at all (even to set up access or support payments) except through her lawyer, driving up the cost. We filed for court at the end and it forced her to settle on a few issues so we never even made it to case conference.

              All told the divorce will have cost me about $100k over 3 years. Basically I lost everything I earned as an adult, I'm back to living like I was 18 again and starting over from scratch.

              It's a pretty safe bet to assume the divorce will cost you everything.


              • #8
                I guess I was in the minority and was fortunate but it didn't cost me too much in legal fees (<2k).

                I strongly recommend going to a mediator. Mine for instance basically said:

                1. Here is the number (or small range... I think it was set though) for child support which is based on a table (she pays me as I have the kids 70%).

                2. Here is the range of the amount and years of spousal support I'd have to pay her. We went with an amount toward the higher end of the range and the number of years toward the low-mid range.

                3. All assets acquired during the marriage are split 50/50.

                She basically said all this is cut and dry. If we try to go out of this range too far a judge would question it and may not approve it.

                There wasn't a custody issue which I am sure would've thrown a wrench in things.

                Be amicable (bite your tongue if need be) and logical is my main suggestion.

                Also regarding the Lawyer - her lawyer isn't out to screw you necessarily. The lawyer is out to screw your wife, which in turn may screw you. Your wife is who pays the lawyer hourly and per phone call/email. As long as he/she can needle along your wife the more money goes into the lawyers pocket.

                The mediation session last 4 sessions and cost around 1k. Do it.


                • #9
                  This question I have asked several times in different ways - so excited to here some real people with real numbers!!! (Ok I do feel for each one of us who faces as one put it give up every penny we earned as adults. This all would agree is a broken wheel which for once I would vote for a government intervention to save us (set a max fee for this and that's it - a lawyer would be motivated to get it done)

                  Like winterwolf7 - my ex can't even communicate even basic things of living never mind a seperation item! Here is my question!!!

                  So you have a spouse who won't communicate - how did your cost, for winterwolf7 (or any other person for that matter) - How did your cost escalate or is there any particular thing you have noticed that just sucks the retainer dry...... wasted letters at $100+ a pop and get no or ridiculous replies, was it just email or phone calls to the other side????

                  SO MUCH TO SAY!!! (Sorry)
                  I am petrified over what this can turn out to be - without a control method where the money is gone (or so much of it one could take a gun to thier head) and you are no further ahead than when this all started. You hear that to argue over anything that lawyers will cost 10 times more, to argue over anything that sits in your homemakes you a stupid and much poorer client for a rich lawyer. But then what do you do when the other side is??????

                  Trying to give fuel to generate discusion, my situation is slightly unique in that most of my settlement will hinge on my rights (settlement money from my injury and because of that accident on that fatefull day three months before I was married nearly 25 years ago and now the 10 surgeries that followed........) money from the settlements get excluded from the net property and equalization payment that I have a chance to retain any of this according to the Family Law Act......(or does it go to the lawyer?)

                  She will not hear of it! She will not even give financial disclosure, I am on CPP Disability and she states she quits before she gives SS. I was lucky in that the mediator in light of my situation charged me $5 a session (and her $20) but he won't mediate disability/injury settlements - I spoke to him last week and he says he still has hearing problems in his left ear........from the screaming my ex when he tried his best "to give her it straight as how it will work" - her plan out of mediation is now to attempt to bankrupt me financially - I can never thank you enough to Mess for saving me thousands! LONG STOP HERE! I will absorb this thread for every word and thank you to everyone willing to lay it out here!!!!


                  • #10
                    After 2 years of seperation it cost me $20K in Lawyer fees. It did not help that my ex went into hiding and all communication went through the lawyers after that. All my ex wanted is money and not to pay any CS. In the end I lost about 60K over 2 years with all the pay out and legal costs.

                    So don't just consider the legal cost but what it will cost you in personal assets. I gave my Ex half the equity in the house and all the items she wanted from it - just to get some closure was worth it. In the end I decided to not to seek CS (I was getting no financial disclosure) but to address that later. We made sure to include in the SA/Divorce that CS would be evaluated every year.

                    I have a SA and a Final Divorce order but I'm back in court fighting for CS since my Ex still refuses to pay any even after she had an income.


                    • #11
                      I didnt end up in court for my seperation agreement. The ex and I went to mediation instead. We still ended up splitting a $7,000 bill for mediation.


                      • #12
                        4 years separated, and over $7,000 in laywer fees. However it is still on going... probably looking at anther 3 -4 thousand by the time it is over. For me it is all the crap that gets missed or poor advice. My first lawyer was a train wreck and ended up being one of the biggest reasons I am still going through the motions. Wish I had been better educated before selecting a lawyer the first time.


                        • #13
                          Cost of divorce

                          My two cents, because that's all I have left after 4 year separation, then trial, then bankruptcy.
                          My legal costs in the end about $50K. Ex's costs I calculate at + $100,000, and we are both now living like we are teenagers, but with kids!

                          My recommendation, avoid court as much as possible. It's painful, long, expensive and destroys any chance of reasonable contact with the other party, something to think very hard about esp. when children are involved, because it's such an adversarial process. It truly is a last resort, and a gamble at that.

                          Court proceedings in our case only benefitted the lawyers, not the family. My ex was so unreasonable, and unwilling to settle or be even remotely fair, we had no choice but to go to court, and we both lost in the end. A tragedy, esp. for our kids, because there is nothing left from the marriage assets for them, nothing for post-secondary, or even a house to live in.

                          Some people do well at a trial, but you don't get to choose your judge. By the time of the trial we had been in front of 6 different judges throughout the years, (ex kept filing motions - and losing). The trial judge was the 7th, and she was a total witch and who couldn't even write up her decisions properly, which caused lots of problems for us both in filing our order. Of the remaining 6 judges - 2 were good, the others were terrible.

                          That's our sad tale.


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