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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:17 PM
Gary_P Gary_P is offline
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Default Opinions on going back to court please.

First Post for me.

I am wanting to go back to court to reduce considerably or eliminate spousal support. Guilt of reducing the kids household income has prevented me from trying for many years. Time has come to overcome guilt and look after myself as well.

I tend to think in bullet points and as such have outlined my situation below. What do you all think the outcome might be if I go back to court and ask to lower or eliminate.

Married 1990
Separated 2001
3 Children (now 16, 15, 10)
First court order 2001 ($1,900/month child + $2,500/month spousal).
Second court order 2005 ($1,520/child + $980/month spousal).
Second order states "Spousal Support shall be open for review anytime after Sept 1 2005".
Signed over house 100% in her name in 2005.

I had several debts including a Rev Canada debt of $80,000 and filed for bankruptcy in March 2008. Received release December 2008.

I make approx $98,000/year.
Net income is around $1,900/month after all deductions including both support.
Ex-Wife monthly net is $2,500 from me plus her fulltime job income.
Ex-Wife was not working at time of separation or divorce.
Ex-Wife has been working full time for about 5 to 6 years now. Steady work, solid future. Income probably around $12 to $13 hour.
Ex-Wife has bought a 2005 mini van last year.
I drive 6 hours each way every second weekend to be with my kids. Stay in hotel and weekends cost me about $500 each time.

Obviously always complains she is broke.
She is not in a relationship.
I am, and live wife girlfriend who makes a good income.
Two step kids that live with us.

I probably cannot afford a lawyer and will self-represent. I am smart, articulate and can probably hold my own in court.

Any opinions? Could I win? Could I get an opposite judgment and pay more?

Thanks everyone.
  #2  
Old 02-07-2010, 03:01 AM
tilt tilt is offline
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She is making about $50,000 ($30,000 support, $20,000) income before deductions? I am not sure how your income is going from $98,000 to $22,000 when your deducted SS payment and after-tax income is $64,000 and CS brings it down to over $45,000 in take home pay. Do you know where that other $23,000 in deductions is going? You should also be careful that you are paying several hundred less than the table amount and opening a conversation about the SS may have your CS increased as well as not removing the SS.

But yes, assuming she lives in Ontario, raising three children (especially expensive teenagers) on $50,000 is tight. That loss of $12,000 a year would definitely be felt and if she is working the kind of job that only pays $13 an hour full-time it is unlikely she can pick up more money, especially as she has the children to still look after (asking the older child to babysit the younger one while she works a second job is not in the children's best interest).
  #3  
Old 02-07-2010, 06:35 AM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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Well according to the table amounts, you can potentially get nailed for 1794 in CS. Of course the trade off is that you've paid your dues on SS for the last 9 years. You could make a damn good case for either having it terminated, or having a set date for it to be stopped. (You might want to argue for the second option...ie. I am willing to continue it for a while longer, but I want a firm date as to when it ends.)

Are you also contrubuting your share of special expenses?

In any event, your best bet is to make her an offer to settle first, that way if she refuses, then it looks better for you in court.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:18 AM
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Tilt, I get a different NDI than you here. The payor's NDI is not just after tax, it is after CPP, EI and most other deductions, we'll call it 60k for conversation.

Currently after paying 30k per year in CS and SS, he is down to 30k. He doesn't mention it, but the final 8k deduction could be section 7.

The ex's NDI should include Child tax credit and other government benefits. These would based on income including SS. Assuming $12hx35hr/wk she is looking at just under 22k gross. It gets rough here without the software, taxes are nominal with all the kid's deductions, she will have her share of section 7 (camp, after school care, hockey, etc) I am going to ballpark it at 17k. Her tax free child tax credit for 3 kids will be over $1000 per month. CS/SS added to that, you are looking at NDI in the 60k range.

By these numbers, which are rough but I don't think too far off, there's no way he should be paying that much spousal. The target is to bring her up to around 45% of his NDI, maybe a little higher due to having three kids, they won't average down on anything, but she is not hurting.

Take spousal out of my numbers, and she is at 48k, he is at 34k, I think he has a case. If you want to dispute his stated NDI and go with 30k instead, he still ends up at 42k compared to her 48k.

Keep in mind, 60k NDI for her (including the tax free Child tax credits) is after tax. If she was just working for it all, you'd be looking at a 6 figure income to net that amount, and it is possible to raise 3 kids on that. The OP is unclear if the house is actually paid off, if so she's on shakey ground.

Now balance that, duration is 6 months to 1 year per year of marriage usually. It would be the higher lenght since there are so many kids. That puts us to this year for a review. Orders are usually indefinate if there are kids, at least until the kids are grown. He would have had a hard time getting anywhere with a review back in '05, I think.

The above is obviously ballpark and Gary, you should get a lawyer to run this through software with accurate numbers for deductions, section 7, child tax credit etc. But I think you are in a position where it is worth getting a consultation and accurate figures.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:06 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Mess, his taxable income (since SS is deducted off the top) is around $86,000, which means he pays about $15,600 federal, $8,000 ON provincial, $4,000 CPP and $1,500 EI. That is $25,500 in deductions totalling $60,500 out of which he pays $18,240 in CS leaving him with $42,260 in net pay (table CS is $21,528. leaving him with $38,972). I can't think of any other deductions that would drop his net income to almost half that at $22,800; if his section 7s are over $20,000 both parents need to work with a more realistic budget. I agree approaching her without lawyers is the best way to go because I don't see your case as a slam dunk.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:25 PM
Gary_P Gary_P is offline
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Thanks for the imput everyone. I will get a copy of my last pay stub and post all of the deductions on Monday. Suffice it to say that my numbers are accurate. The overall deductions would help clarify obviously.

My pay is auto deposited every 2nd Thursday and the last 5 were as follows .. Remember of course that the net pay increases after max CPP and UI limits are reached mid year.

1/28/10 .. $901.47
1/14/10.. $901.47
12/30/09.. $1,123.32
12/17/09.. $1,123.32
12/03/09 .. $1,123.32

Running the calendar year that gives me 26 pays at an avg net of $1,012.40 x 26 = $26,322.27/year net.

I do pay about $95.00/month for a medical plan. I also currently live in Quebec where provincial deductions are higher.

My problem with seeing a lawyer is that with that net income I seriously cannot afford it. To see a lawyer and spending $2,000 or $3,000 I am looking at spending 1 to 2 months net income to even start anything.

I know it sounds ridiculous that a guy making $100k / year is broke but I am living paycheck to paycheck. I need to get my SS lower or will find myelf looking at bankruptsy again in a year.

If there is anyone out there that I could private message with greater details that could help I would be very appreciative.
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Mess, his taxable income (since SS is deducted off the top) is around $86,000, which means he pays about $15,600 federal, $8,000 ON provincial, $4,000 CPP and $1,500 EI. That is $25,500 in deductions totalling $60,500 out of which he pays $18,240 in CS leaving him with $42,260 in net pay (table CS is $21,528. leaving him with $38,972). I can't think of any other deductions that would drop his net income to almost half that at $22,800; if his section 7s are over $20,000 both parents need to work with a more realistic budget. I agree approaching her without lawyers is the best way to go because I don't see your case as a slam dunk.
The deduction you are missing is the spousal support. After he pays and she receives, their NDI is supposed in a range near 45%. The total of his payments of SS + CS is 30k per year.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:44 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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I love you mess, but my first line took the SS off his income (since it is tax-deductable) which brought his $98,000 gross to $86,000 taxable income. His last post corrects his $1,900 monthly income to almost $2,200 so maybe there are other simple math errors involved.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:13 PM
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I love you too.
  #10  
Old 02-07-2010, 05:23 PM
Gary_P Gary_P is offline
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OK OK ..stop spreading all the love and find me money so I can take both of you to Mexico when I free up some cash.
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