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-   -   Spousal Support Increase Request after 10 Years (https://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23396)

DavidMills 11-22-2020 01:40 PM

Spousal Support Increase Request after 10 Years
 
Hello,

I am concerned about listing too many specific facts in this forum due to privacy concerns.

However, here are some of the points of my case

My ex common law spouse and I were together for 14 years

We have been separated for 10 years .

We have two children together who are now teenagers.

We have joint custody, but she has more access.

She lost her job over two years ago and was provided a severance package.

She has not worked any meaningful type of job in this time, and currently only works appx. an hour a day.

I have proof that she has refused employment that was not to her standards.

When we were in our common law relationship. we co-parented, and she took no more that the year maternity leave granted by the Province per child. She did not sacrafice any of career/financial opportunities for the family.

Neither of us would like to take this to trail; however, we are also not on the horizon of a resolution.

I was hoping that someone with some experience in this realm can advise me of the validity of her claim based on the above scenario (she is not disabled, and was in her late 30s when we separated - she has a diploma and employable skills).

I want to be fair, but I would also like to have a sense of what the law may interpret as being fair.

Thank you for your time.

D. Mills

Janus 11-25-2020 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidMills (Post 244408)
I am concerned about listing too many specific facts in this forum due to privacy concerns.

Hopefully your name is not David Mills then :).

Might want to consider starting an anonymous profile.


Quote:

My ex common law spouse and I were together for 14 years

We have been separated for 10 years .
Do you have a separation agreement? What does it say about spousal support? What have you been paying in spousal support for the last 10 years?

Quote:

We have joint custody, but she has more access.
Do you have less than 40% parenting time?

Quote:

When we were in our common law relationship. we co-parented, and she took no more that the year maternity leave granted by the Province per child. She did not sacrafice any of career/financial opportunities for the family.
Seems like she took at least 2 years off from her job. Might be presumptuous to assume that this had no impact.

Also, since it sounds like you have been paying spousal for the last 10 years, it sounds like you agreed (10 years ago) that she was in fact due compensation for her losses incurred during the marriage.


Quote:

I want to be fair, but I would also like to have a sense of what the law may interpret as being fair.
It sounds like it will depend quite a bit on what it says in your separation agreement about spousal support.

If I had to bet, I would say that she has almost no chance of having it increased, with the caveat that if you have a lousy agreement you could be stuck paying it.

Also, if you have less than 40% parenting time, and she is broke, the courts might make you pay anyway, even if it would be otherwise unfair.

Quote:

D. Mills
Sure thing "D" mills. I like how you cleverly changed "David" to "D" in order to keep it anonymous.

DavidMills 11-25-2020 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus (Post 244419)
Hopefully your name is not David Mills then :).

Might want to consider starting an anonymous profile.

Indeed! My name is not David Mills - thankfully.



Do you have a separation agreement? What does it say about spousal support? What have you been paying in spousal support for the last 10 years?

I have been paying $10 a month for spousal support - yes.. ten.

All it says is that spousal support "may" increase if financial situations change.


Do you have less than 40% parenting time?

I have them 6 nights out of 14, but one of those is only an evening that does not constitute an overnight stay. So yes, I do have them less than 40%.



Seems like she took at least 2 years off from her job. Might be presumptuous to assume that this had no impact.

Also, since it sounds like you have been paying spousal for the last 10 years, it sounds like you agreed (10 years ago) that she was in fact due compensation for her losses incurred during the marriage.

Agreed. She did take two years (one year per child) of mat leave, but returned to her pervious position without consequence.




It sounds like it will depend quite a bit on what it says in your separation agreement about spousal support.

We don't have a separation agreement; instead we have a court order based on a case conference and subsequent agreement. Apparently, this is different than an official "separation" agreement.

If I had to bet, I would say that she has almost no chance of having it increased, with the caveat that if you have a lousy agreement you could be stuck paying it.

Also, if you have less than 40% parenting time, and she is broke, the courts might make you pay anyway, even if it would be otherwise unfair.


Thank you kindly for your advice - it is greatly appreciated.

Sure thing "D" mills. I like how you cleverly changed "David" to "D" in order to keep it anonymous.

I am a bit more clever than to use my actual name on this forum.

Janus 11-25-2020 03:08 PM

Quote:

I have been paying $10 a month for spousal support - yes.. ten.

All it says is that spousal support "may" increase if financial situations change.
And you have been paying the ten bucks for 10 years now? You're in a good spot, that's going to be a hard sell on her part.

Quote:

We don't have a separation agreement; instead we have a court order based on a case conference and subsequent agreement. Apparently, this is different than an official "separation" agreement.
Sounds like you have an agreement that was turned into a court order? That's a separation agreement. Everything was agreed to on consent, a judge didn't make a order against the wishes of one of the parties.


My advice:

Option A: Don't be afraid of court, let her file. She might lose her enthusiasm for the process once she has to pay to start it. Advantage of this choice is that it is easy, you do nothing, ignore her, and maybe it all just goes away.

Option B: Offer her $100/month for the next 2 years (or $200/month for the next year), but in return spousal support ends. If you don't get a final spousal support ending date, then increasing the amount you pay is worthless, the point is to buy an end date so you never have to deal with it again.

Option C: Offer a lump sum payment of $2000 and in return spousal support stops. Less sexy in terms of tax deductions, but these are small amounts so it won't matter much anyway, and the lump sum sounds more enticing. Free money!

I would do a combination of AC. Do nothing until she files in court. Then, send an offer to settle that is a lump sum.

DavidMills 11-25-2020 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Janus (Post 244426)
And you have been paying the ten bucks for 10 years now? You're in a good spot, that's going to be a hard sell on her part.

Yes. sir. I have been paying $10 a month since 2011. However, to be fair, she lost her job two and a half years ago. So her income has been reduced from approx. 53K to 23K per year. (Notwithstanding the fact that she has turned down min. wage employment opportunities)

Sounds like you have an agreement that was turned into a court order? That's a separation agreement. Everything was agreed to on consent, a judge didn't make a order against the wishes of one of the parties.

Thank you for this clarification. It does sound like this is the case.


My advice:

Option A: Don't be afraid of court, let her file. She might lose her enthusiasm for the process once she has to pay to start it. Advantage of this choice is that it is easy, you do nothing, ignore her, and maybe it all just goes away.



Option B: Offer her $100/month for the next 2 years (or $200/month for the next year), but in return spousal support ends. If you don't get a final spousal support ending date, then increasing the amount you pay is worthless, the point is to buy an end date so you never have to deal with it again.


This sounds very appealing, if it were not for that fact that, should I lose, I would likely have to pay her legal fees. However, what I hear you saying is that if she actually pursued a trial, that it would be at this point I make the offer.

Option C: Offer a lump sum payment of $2000 and in return spousal support stops. Less sexy in terms of tax deductions, but these are small amounts so it won't matter much anyway, and the lump sum sounds more enticing. Free money!

I actually prefer a lump sum simply to buy myself some peace of mind. Currently, she is asking for 1250 per month for the maximum duration of our relationship... or... 30K lump sum. The legal language used by her lawyer and the tone of said language makes it sound like they are very confident in this claim... I realize this is how lawyers work... but still.

I would do a combination of AC. Do nothing until she files in court. Then, send an offer to settle that is a lump sum.

Again, I am very grateful for your advise in this matter. Thank you kindly.


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