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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-02-2006, 05:41 PM
Les Les is offline
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Default Couple of quick questions...

My husband and I after 3 years of marriage and 6 yrs. total living together, are splitting up, and I cannot see any reconciliation possible. He was employed in high-tech, but left his job due to burnout/stress (and promptly went on 2 cross country tours!). Once his disability benefits ran out, I was the sole wage-earner, and was subjected to 3 years of mental and emotional abuse while he went through various courses of drugs prescribed by his psychiatrists, etc. ANYWAY....

He wanted to consolidate some bills, and we had to renegotiate the mortgage to accomplish this. As he was uninsurable, the bank would only grant me the mortgage, which because of the consolidation is of course larger than it was prior.

He has been trying to get a business going, and has had some successes, but money flows like water through his hands...(just one of the issues). Currently his business is in a down time, with no major contracts in sight until April1, and he has $45.00 in the bank.

Questions
#1 - Can he 'sue' me for spousal support if I leave? He had been making $90K+ in his previous job, and not much to show for it....
#2 - Are the RRSP's I currently have 'up for grabs' - they are the result of pension transfers from employers when I left... and are in LIRA's.
#3 - If I offer to cover the mortgage payments until April 1, will the courts look favorably on this?

Any input is appreciated....
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:24 PM
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hubby hubby is offline
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Les,

If divorcing, then marital assets built during this period is split 50/50 ... house, RRSP, cash, debt ...

I would think for spousal support, he has to prove why he cannot find employment of any sort ....

Its a tough position to be in ... especially with you putting in so much effort.

Hubby
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:28 PM
Les Les is offline
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Default Thanks for the reply...

I'm really hoping for some degree of amicability (who doesn't), but if he does go for support, it's going to get nasty... He got a large settlement from his former employer when he 'burnt out', and squandered that on 'stuff'... (came home one day to find out he'd purchased 9 coats for himself... stupid little example but there were loads of these!)

Oh well... time to actually visit a lawyer I suppose!

Thanks again.
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:31 PM
Grace Grace is offline
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Welcome Les,

Sorry to hear of your circumstances. Yes, if you have the means and your ex has the need, he is entitled to spousal support. For a short term marriage such as yours there would most likely be a time limit put on it, i.e. until he can get back on his feet. As for the RRSP, they would be included when it comes to an equalization payment. As for the matrimonial home, it will be split 50/50 regardless of who is paying the mortgage. In the courts eye's you paying the mortgage would most likely support his need for spousal support.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:26 AM
bearall bearall is offline
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Default Anyone know or have an idea

Any idea's what the law is regarding example:????

Date of marriage personal assets----$50,000 stocks and $ 10,000 rrsps---Total $60,000
Date of separation personal assets--$10,000stocks and $ 50,000 rrsps---Total $60,000
Property remained separate between the parties during the marriage.
If the total $values are the same(beginning and end of marriage) is there an equalization or division.

Or is it viewed the stock value $ loss is irrelevant but the rrsp value has $increased during the marriage and is therefore shared and divisible
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:37 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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bearall,

I would think

"is it viewed the stock value $ loss is irrelevant but the rrsp value has $increased during the marriage and is therefore shared and divisible"

Reason being they would be treated as two different assets which in fact they are.

The original rsp before the marriage or cohabitation would be excluded but any increase in its value such as contributions made during the course of the marriage would be up for division

Last edited by logicalvelocity; 02-05-2006 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:27 AM
bearall bearall is offline
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Default Thanks for your opinion Lv

I was wondering because Purich vs Purich in Alberta seems to rule differently.


Mr. Purich also owned his current R.R.S.P.’s, the matrimonial home located on Linden Drive, five vehicles, bank accounts, furnishings, jewelry and personal possessions. Mr. Purich’s assets had a value in excess of $8,000,000.00 on the date of marriage. Ms. Bates in no way contributed directly or indirectly to the accumulation of Mr. Purich's assets or to the advancement of his career. The assets were all acquired prior to marriage and in fact were of significantly greater value at the time the parties met. The assets have decreased from the time the parties met, throughout the relationship and throughout the marriage.

The stock portfolio is invested in high risk shares and has fluctuated throughout the marriage and throughout the period of separation. At the present time the net value of the portfolio after deduction of margin accounts owing, disposition costs and liquidation costs is approximately $3.7 million. This amount is significantly less than the value on the date of marriage.

[31] Mr. Purich maintains R.R.S.P.’s which have increased in value during the marriage. These R.R.S.P.’s have in no way been brought into the matrimonial regime and have always remained in Mr. Purich’s name. There have been no further contributions to the R.R.S.P.’s from matrimonial funds and their increase is solely attributable to market increases and Mr. Purich’s direction. Ms. Bates has had no access to the asset nor has it been brought into or mingled with matrimonial funds.

[36] Ms. Bates did not contribute in any way to the acquisition of property by Mr. Purich. Even during the period while they were dating and then living together prior to marriage, Ms. Bates did not work in the business, did not entertain, did not follow Mr. Purich from posting to posting, did not raise children. Ms. Bates cannot invoke fairness as the basis for her claim to share in the property which Mr. Purich owned prior to marriage.


[37] It is clear, however, that even if Ms. Bates had not contributed in any way to the acquisition or maintenance of Mr. Purich’s wealth, if there had been an increase in value of Mr. Purich’s non-exempt property, such increase in value of the property would become a matrimonial asset and subject to division. A court might take into account the lack of contribution to the creation of wealth as a factor in denying any claim to the increase in value, but at least the increase in value could properly be characterized as non-exempt matrimonial property.

[38] In this case, Ms. Bates does not base her claim to an interest in Mr. Purich’s assets on any contribution to them. Rather, she rests her claim on what she describes as Mr. Purich’s inability to trace the property which he owned at the beginning of the marriage to the property which he owned at the date of trial. Ms. Bates has, however, proceeded from too high a standard: the law does not require each of the spouses to keep financial records of the type that would be expected of a bank or of a trustee: a marriage is not, after all, primarily a financial relationship. Here, Mr. Purich has adequately traced the $8 million of assets he had at the time of the marriage into his remaining property. He has, with one exception, the matrimonial home, not brought those assets into the matrimonial regime. Ms. Bates has no claim on those assets. The situation here is that there has been no increase in value in Mr. Purich’s exempt assets; therefore, there is nothing against which Ms. Bates can make a legitimate claim.


[42] The largest property item against which Ms. Bates makes a claim is the investment portfolio. Ms. Bates claims that this is not a case where there is one particular asset or one specific capital injection into the marriage which id identifiable in some shape or form from which there can be an inference of an exemption. She says that he is unable to do so because there has been a commingling of the exempt cash fund that Mr. Purich prior to the date of marriage with term deposits, stocks and bank accounts. She notes that while the stock portfolio has decreased in net value from the date of the marriage, during the last decade the portfolio has, from time to time, increased in value, and has produced profits

[43] With respect, this is one of the clearest tracing cases imaginable. Indeed, Ms. Bates’ own expert could easily trace all of the Purich investments to the payments received from the sale of Richfield. Prior to the marriage, not only did Mr. Purich have a specific pot of money, the value of which was identifiable at the date of the marriage, he took great care to ensure that his money stayed within his pot. Some of the money within the pot was used to buy stocks. Some of the money within the pot was used to buy other investments. Some of the money within the pot made money and increased the amount of money within the pot. Some of the money was ladled out of the pot to pay for living expenses. But Ms. Purich never put any of her money into the pot, and she never got a ladle of her own to take money out of the pot. Based on the trial evidence, Mr. Purich had an identifiable source of money prior to the marriage, which he scrupulously kept separate from Ms. Bates; he has proven an exemption of at least $5.5 million which he is entitled to apply to all of those assets which remain in the pot. The fact that the assets in the pot now total only $3.7 million does not deprive him of any part of his exemption.

[44] Once property has been characterized as exempt property and while it remains exempt, it is inappropriate to account for fluctuations in the value of the asset. Suppose that the only property owned by a married couple was the home in which they lived. And suppose that the wife had owned that property prior to marriage. And suppose that the marriage had lasted 25 years. And suppose that during that period of time, residential real estate values had shown a marked increase during the 12th to 14th year of the marriage, but that the property values had then returned to just slightly above what they had been at the time of the marriage. When the marriage broke up, would the wife have to account to the husband for the increase in value of the home during the 3 year period? No, she would not. Absent dissipation, the court distributes property according to the value at the time of trial. In this case, the stock portfolio should be treated as one, organic, asset, similar to a matrimonial home.

d) RRSPs

[49] It would be unfair to give Ms. Bates any portion of the increase of Mr. Purich’s RRSPs from the date of the marriage to the date of the trial. As indicated above, Mr. Purich sold his business prior to marriage; when he lost his employment, he lost his capacity to contribute to an RRSP. There was some minor contribution to the RRSP after the marriage, but that related back to the period immediately prior to the marriage.

[50] Similarly, however, it would be inappropriate for Mr. Purich to be given any portion of the increase in Ms. Bates’ RRSPs during the marriage. By allowing Ms. Bates to keep her assets separate during the marriage as part of a consistent approach to property, Mr. Purich encouraged the development of a financial regime in which he paid all the bills, but his assets were his and Ms. Bates’ assets were hers. It would be unfair to derogate from that approach now that the marriage has broken down.

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Old 02-05-2006, 01:09 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Interesting Case

The RSP's in that case increased in value due to market conditions not buy contributions made during the course of the relationship. That makes sense to me on the Judicial conclusion and especially at the lengths the individual segregated his income and assets from hers.

Just go to show that every case twists and turns on its own facts.
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:50 AM
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And that no 2 cases are alike, correct?
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