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-   -   Need advice for upcoming Case Management appointment (https://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12025)

DeborahK 05-05-2012 08:55 PM

Need advice for upcoming Case Management appointment
 
I have been separated from my husband for just over a year. He filed divorce papers on me in February, we have a Case Management appointment set up for in a few days. My only contention with the divorce is the separation date that my husband has put on the court papers, basically he chose a date that was one year prior to our separation date.... I imagine he has done this to cut down a year of my eligibility of sharing his company pension.

I have been in contact with his lawyer via email as I had to file an "Answer" to the divorce and stated my issue with the date his client put down.

I have now received an email from his lawyer saying that if I am in possession of any documents that I must submit them to him prior to Case Management which is this coming week.. I thought Case Management was an informal settlement meeting and that Case Management was only there to "monitor" the case?

I am so confused, and didn't think it necessary to have a lawyer and the expense to go the Case Management to say that he is lying about the separation date?

Berner_Faith 05-05-2012 09:16 PM

Is the amount you may get from his pension for an extra year really that high? If this is your only bone of contention, count your lucky stars and let it go. If you are only looking at between $10,000-$30,000, going through the court, will eat up all those costs, not to mention the stress it is going to put you through. Why not suggest to meet in the middle?
Did he feel you lived separate, but under the same roof for a year? There are many couples going through divorce that still live under the same roof as their stbx.

DeborahK 05-05-2012 09:24 PM

Thanks for responding.... Perhaps I'm a little naive at this.

If I'm representing myself, why would it cost me anything? I"m not really stressing about all this divorce stuff I just want the information to be accurate and honest. Yes, he is now claiming that we separated a year sooner now that I have moved out. However, we slept in the same bed, shared meals, chores, bills were all paid for at 50/50 (mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, on top of that I had to pay my car loan etc) while I was unemployed for 20 months, which, I didn't think was fair. That's another story LOL.

So, how does this cost me money? And how does one meet in the middle on this?

Berner_Faith 05-05-2012 09:34 PM

Self representing is possible, but I personally think it takes a certain type of person to do so...not saying you can't, but if you plan to, your best bet is to read, read, read and read some more.

What are his reasons for listing that date? What is your reasoning for not wanting that date? I guess to me, when I see what my bf went through and what others on this forum have gone through, going to court over a date, seems so small, even if you do self rep, the stress that comes with self reping is huge... while you may not be stressed now, if this goes further are you prepared for the paper work? Do you know what forms to file and when? Do you have the time to research and learn all about family law?

IMHO, if you are not gaining a significant amount by changing the date, I would simply settle on that date... when I mentioned meet int he middle, you say he has a year before you feel you separated... so make the official date, 6 months from when he says and 6 months from when you say?

Rioe 05-05-2012 09:52 PM

Whichever date you end up with, there has to be some proof to it. When did you start filing income taxes as separated instead of married? When did you stop sleeping in the same bed? When did you close the joint accounts and start doing your finances individually? When did you tell your friends and family that your marriage was over? These are all dates that could be argued reflect your 'true' separation date, not either of your choices.

But yes, the cost to argue it, while not measured in dollars if you are self-representing, is still there, in stress and delaying the moving on with your life.

DeborahK 05-06-2012 10:58 AM

He's claiming Jan1, 2010, I'm claiming Feb 1, 2011. We both filed as married for the 2010 taxation year. Our joint account was closed in spring of 2011 etc.....

Rioe 05-06-2012 11:32 AM

You have proof he told the government you were still married through all of 2010, so he's going to have a really uphill battle proving a Jan 1, 2010 separation date. Point that out to him, and maybe he'll concede to a date of Jan 1, 2011, as the earliest date you are willing to be negotiated back to. If he still wants to take it up with lawyers, you could probably self-represent, provide a copy of the 2011 tax return and notice of assessment to his lawyer, and see if that will change his mind before court.

DeborahK 05-06-2012 11:51 AM

Ahhhh, now see that's the trick.... I don't have his assessment but I know for a fact he filed as Married for 2010. If I go and self represent this week and mention that to the judge will they postponed or set a new date till he provides this information?

PS, thanks for all your help

wretchedotis 05-06-2012 02:22 PM

You have a lawyer? What does he say about the request?

It is my understanding that not providing the proof at case conference is no bg deal - but come trial you will have to prove it.

If you want to avoid trial - then maybe submit the documents now, and save yourself the grief.

Perhaps once they see your 'proof' they will decide they can't beat it and cave on the issue.

But basically, until a Judge orders it - you don't HAVE to provide anything.

My guess is his lawyer is trying to bully you. The worst that will happen is the judge will order you to provide them at conference - so don't sweat it.

DeborahK 05-06-2012 02:24 PM

I'm self representing and I don't have his assessment so I can't submit it.

wretchedotis 05-06-2012 02:48 PM

You could submit your assesment, copy of banking (showing when joint acct was closed), or explain to the judge that his assesment proves it and ask for an order that his assesment be released to you.

Thats probably something to motion for, however.

DeborahK 05-16-2012 10:21 PM

Update,,,, I went to Case Conference last week with all kinds of documents as I was self-representing..... his lawyer didn't show up but my ex did. Basically not much was said but the judge agreed that the separation date needed to be made correct and accurate... judge sugggested to me to reschedule Case Conference.

Within 2 days I got a letter from his lawyer saying if I am willing to accept the new date we will do an affidavit divorce.

WTF, that's what I had asked for in the first place, what a waste of time, energy and money on my ex's part LOL.

Me, total cost $35 to file "Answer" and $2.50 for parking ;-) Look on their faces = Priceless... it's nice to be a winner against a lawyer ;-)


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