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  #1  
Old 06-29-2021, 11:27 AM
Clarityseeker Clarityseeker is offline
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Hello everyone,

I discovered this forum the other day as I am seeking some sound advice and clarity. Thank you ahead of time for reading and providing replies.

My questions involve my Partner and his ex as we have been navigating through the system which is sadly broken. Have learned many hard lessons to date.

Quick Summary:

- they have been divorced 12+ years - 2 kids now 17 and 19 both lived with ex up until 2 years ago

- older child moved in with partner two years ago

- after many many attempts to discuss the issues with ex and her lawyer, who dismissed, delayed, etc.. for almost a year, we brought a motion to change - based on older child finally going to post-secondary school as change in circumstance - along with some other items that are now moot.

- It was a horrible experience and frankly i was shocked at the blatant lies that came from the ex and the lawyer all to avoid having to pay one cent towards the older child (i.e. retro while he was 17 living with partner) and reluctance to pay going forward while still collecting ongoing CS.

- Looking at Partner's order from 12 years ago - he got railroaded by his ex and same lawyer, - in which he paid a ridiculous and exaggerated amount of arrears on top of CS over the next decade. While he has maintained all of his payments, he has lived a very financially crippled life - not being able to afford to eat at times - while she enjoyed life in her 5 bedroom century home out in the Country (she moved the boys 1.5 hours away) - All of this is past - i am just painting a picture

Fast forward to our recent experience: ex's Lawyer sends repeated demands for money (unvalidated) and repeated threats for costs, insists that the child was paying rent to dad and therefore is self-sufficient (total lie) and then mom tried to coerce older son to signing over his RESP GRANT portion to which he is a direct beneficiary of to her and her spouse (we intervened and stopped this); I should mention here that I believe the older child is on the spectrum (my personal observation not a qualified diagnosis) and while he is high-functioning, his ability to get and maintain employment as well as having a social life is debilitated. He is very easily influenced and his mother bullies him when she bothers speaking to him at all (when she wants something) there have been no visits with him since he moved in with his dad.

Finally, we got a Case Conference Date. By this time we were both pretty deflated. My partner ended up agreeing to a less than stellar Order after having the lawyer and the DRO (they were clearly friends as they all are in this Town) berate, shame and pressure my partner into agreeing to.

We have accepted the terms of the order and will raise certain items to readdress in 2 years when the ex moves to change the order again based on the older child completing school and the younger child having 2 years (presumably) left.

Here are the snags so far:

1 The order (dated April 21) states - at the insistence of the ex's lawyer - that the older son's '1st year of college was now complete and there were no monies owing by either party'. the lawyer verbally insisted that we 'start fresh with a clean slate' and had no interest in reviewing anything and determining proportionate shares.

In another part after school expenses are addressed, the order also states the 'parties are to disclose all OSAP and grants, etc... to each other'.

My partner has just sent the first school bill to the ex for her proportionate share for older son's semester that started in May and goes to August. She is beside herself because she wasn't expected this (they knew he changed programs mid-way and his new program started in January - but made their own assumptions about the rest) so she is now demanding that we disclose all OSAP loans/grants information from the beginning of his 1st year of College.

- Our position is - No - Order is not retroactive and 1st year has already been dealt with - so the past year info is not relevant. Going forward - from date of order - we will certainly disclose all that info.

- Any comments on the above are welcome if you have insight otherwise.

2 Next issue is trickier.

The lawyer and DRO lectured and shamed my partner at the CC because the lawyer painted a picture of my partner as not accepting transportation as a s.7 expense. This was a complete lie (and it wasn't her only one during her speech). The lawyer raised transportation once - in an email right before the CC started and my partner asked - what does that entail? At the CC the lawyer did her song and dance about mileage (first time mentioning) and they both then berated my partner insisting that it was a s.7 expense that he should be paying the [younger] child's transportation costs to school from their home at the Government posted rate.

Public transportation is not available because they live out of district approx 40 min drive to the school. My partner had no rebuttal on the spot and ended up agreeing to this without taking the time to properly consider it - it is just the way it happened, it was absolutely heart wrenching in retrospect. My partner earns a very humble wage - he owns nothing is still digging out of debt that snowballed due to his divorce from this woman.

My Partner has never disputed CS (for which there is a set off now - until he has to pay again in 2 years) nor does he dispute his proportionate share of school costs that we are working a plan for to manage it. Nor does he dispute the other expenses - including travel - however - what has been set is unreasonable as he has no control over where they live and when he suggest that his son live with him and attend the same university (didn't location) that was within bussing from him, the DRO attacked him suggesting that is 'inappropriate to have those discussions with his son'. If he is actually expected to pay this on top of everything else (especially when CS kicks in again in 2 years) - he will not even be able to afford his share of the household expenses for him and his other son.

- We then find out that - mom's plan is to drop younger son off and pick him up on her way to and from her work as the school is on her way.

Quick Calculation: 75km x .59/km = 44.59 x 5 days (worst case) = 222.59 - weekly transportation costs - Partner's portion (1/3) = $75/week while no one will be paying the other 2 portions because technically, they don't exist in this scenario.


My Question: Once this pattern is established and we confirm it with the son - assuming she gives us her mileage bill - Do we have a valid argument that these are NOT the son's transportation costs to/from school but rather HER costs to and from work?

If he had his own car and was specifically driving to school that is one thing, but for now he doesn't and we expect her to use this order to cover her commuting costs to and from Work (which she obviously knew and misrepresented at the CC) - these will not be the child's transportation expenses.

Secondly, if she does get him a car and he drives himself, we obviously cannot dispute these costs (just wait for the next round to have this cost re-adjusted) however, we plan to insist that she provide proof of her proportionate transfer to him in order for my partner to pay his. Is it valid that just because his son doesn't live with him does not mean he cant make her accountable for her share as well?

Lastly, if this gets really ugly, we may consider loaning my car to the son for his transportation costs and collecting her portion of the mileage as per the order as all other vehicle maintenance, wear and tear would remain as mine as the car is just a loaner.

She also just listed her house for sale (2 months after the Order) as they plan to move farther out to a property they bought so they can build a home on it. If kms becomes an issue we will argue the closer address as that was the address at the time of the Consent Order and she did not disclose her intention to move farther away from the school.

It absolutely baffles me after all these years why she just cant accept what is reasonable, pay appropriately for her kids and get on with her life.

I have to add that I was absolutely dismayed when i saw how stacked the system is against men. My partner has paid paid paid over the years - he consistently drove 3 hours to every 2nd weekend for visitation to see his boys - he has always been present for them and never discusses anything regarding them mom - and he was still painted out to be a greedy deadbeat by the ex's lawyer and the DRO went right along with her.

It was sad and disgusting all in one.. This is exhausting for sure!!

Thanks everyone if you got this far ...
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2021, 01:00 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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There is a lot to unpack here which I will get to but a few things first.

Your partner agreed on his own. Whether or not his exs lawyer bullied him is irrelevant, he agreed and there is nothing you can do about it other than ask questions and get a good lawyer.

Second, post secondary is pretty straight forward for many. You do have to disclose all of his loans and grants whether you want to or not. It is necessary to calculate expenses. Expenses are tuition, books and equipment as well as transportation. CS is still paid if the child lives at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarityseeker View Post
We have accepted the terms of the order and will raise certain items to readdress in 2 years when the ex moves to change the order again based on the older child completing school and the younger child having 2 years (presumably) left.
Your partner can file himself if there is a change or the order is lacking clarity or even is his ex is not following it.

Quote:
My partner has just sent the first school bill to the ex for her proportionate share for older son's semester that started in May and goes to August.
Did he outline kids share, his share and hers?

Quote:
She is beside herself because she wasn't expected this (they knew he changed programs mid-way and his new program started in January - but made their own assumptions about the rest)
Ignore how she feels, its irrelevant.

Quote:
she is now demanding that we disclose all OSAP loans/grants information from the beginning of his 1st year of College.
Send them to her. The grant portion comes off the top, the remaining costs are split 1/3 to kid and the rest split proportionate to income. If there is an RESP it is applied depending on who paid into it. If they jointly paid into it, it is applied to the 2/3 shared by the parents. If the kid paid into it, its his. Or if they agree it can cone off the full amount. What she cant do is expect all of kids loans to be applied as those are his share and mom is expected to pay her share.

Quote:
- Our position is - No - Order is not retroactive and 1st year has already been dealt with - so the past year info is not relevant. Going forward - from date of order - we will certainly disclose all that info.
Give it to her and tell her that if she insists on reopening year 1 then you want it all recalculated accordingly. If she has to pay, insist she pay.

Quote:
The lawyer and DRO lectured and shamed my partner at the CC because the lawyer painted a picture of my partner as not accepting transportation as a s.7 expense.
Lawyers do a lot of bullshitting, your partner needs a thicker skin.

Quote:
transportation is a s.7 expense that he should be paying the [younger] child's transportation costs to school from their home at the Government posted rate.

Public transportation is not available because they live out of district approx 40 min drive to the school. My partner had no rebuttal on the spot and ended up agreeing to this without taking the time to properly consider it - it is just the way it happened, it was absolutely heart wrenching in retrospect. My partner earns a very humble wage - he owns nothing is still digging out of debt that snowballed due to his divorce from this woman.

My Partner has never disputed CS (for which there is a set off now - until he has to pay again in 2 years) nor does he dispute his proportionate share of school costs that we are working a plan for to manage it. Nor does he dispute the other expenses - including travel - however - what has been set is unreasonable as he has no control over where they live and when he suggest that his son live with him and attend the same university (didn't location) that was within bussing from him, the DRO attacked him suggesting that is 'inappropriate to have those discussions with his son'. If he is actually expected to pay this on top of everything else (especially when CS kicks in again in 2 years) - he will not even be able to afford his share of the household expenses for him and his other son.
Im confused. Does student live with you near school? Transportation is a section expense if there is no public transportation option. If kid lives with you then you calculate how much it costs to get to school. As for kid two, you can file a new motion to change when they go to school if you cant agree. This kid could even go away to school. Technically your partner pays a third of the cost to get kid there. If they claim $75 a week then its proportionate to income on the 2/3 of that costs. He can also dispute it. If she is dropping him off then your partner can say I will give you x amount for gas each week. She is choosing that option to save herself money so it applied to the whole situation. If kid had his own car then the costs would be gas and maintenance split between the three. Her choice to move is hers. If she is dropping kid off then there are limited costs.

Quote:
It absolutely baffles me after all these years why she just cant accept what is reasonable, pay appropriately for her kids and get on with her life.
Let it go. Difficult people will always be difficult. The good news is it will end soon.

Your partner needs to stop agreeing on the spot. Hes allowed to stop and think and his lawyer should be giving him better advice.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2021, 03:35 PM
Clarityseeker Clarityseeker is offline
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Thank you for your very detailed and helpful response.

A question for clarification on the RESP. There are two portions to the RESP - the principle portion which she paid into and then the EAP portion - which is the Government grant - not her money. In our case, the EAP portion was directly payable to my Partner's son - as he was the registered beneficiary and it was only payable based on his school registration for his use towards his education, otherwise it wouldn't be payable at all. There was even a T3 issued in the child's name. My Partner's Ex got all of her RESP principle back to do with what she pleases.

So - would the EAP gov grant portion not belong to the Child for his contributable portion? It is really hard to find answers to this. Obviously the principle is hers but I think I am reading here that the gov money is hers as well and not the child's to credit against tuition? He didn't get any of the principle she kept that for herself.

Regarding the travel - thank you for the suggestion. He can thank her for eliminating the child's costs by including him in her drive to work (using a softer approach) and then offer a reasonable amount per week for gas. I guess we will see how that goes and then if she wants to fight it then we can bring it before a judge with our argument and hope for some reasonableness to be applied.

To clarify on the living situation. Child 1 lives with her 40km from school - public transportation not available (She works 5-10 min from the school). The same university (same program) that he is attending while living with her also has a location within bus distance from our house. Mother will not entertain discussions for him to live with dad and the DRO suggested it was inappropriate for dad to offer that to the 17 year old child.

Regarding the OSAP docs and school costs for 1st year for the son living with us - I agree they are not a secret - the problem is is that if we provide them, she will dig it all up and cherry pick the items that she thinks benefit her and try to apply them to the current bill (yes - all 3 proportions owing on it have been set out). It is honestly not worth the aggrevation. We tried to get them to discuss school costs with us a year ago and by the time it was even acknowledged by them, his first year was done and they immediately closed the books on it within the Order.

If we say no - its not relevant - because the Order says Year 1 is finished and dealt with - we would want an amended Order first before we go down that road opening year 1 back up stating that she needs to pay her proportionate share after Grant/EAP is applied - which also needs to be clarified up front or that will turn into a huge battle (She will continue paying her lawyer to fight as long as she doesn't have to pay my Partner - the numbers don't need to make sense).

We have learned that her lawyer avoids clarification of anything because it allows her make the rules in her favour as she goes along and she is a tyrant. So we want to insist on an Amended Order first, before we cough anything up.

I just want to be sure that what the Order states - is from the date of the Order and we are not obliged to apply any of it retroactively when it does not say retroactive, especially when the Order specifically addresses the completion of Year 1 college payments have already been dealt with.
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:06 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarityseeker View Post
A question for clarification on the RESP. There are two portions to the RESP - the principle portion which she paid into and then the EAP portion - which is the Government grant - not her money. In our case, the EAP portion was directly payable to my Partner's son - as he was the registered beneficiary and it was only payable based on his school registration for his use towards his education, otherwise it wouldn't be payable at all. There was even a T3 issued in the child's name. My Partner's Ex got all of her RESP principle back to do with what she pleases.
Heres the deal with RESPs, yes they are for the child but if she decided to take all her money back, the government grant would have to be paid back to the gov. A better what to do this is to have the government grant applied to the full cost with the OSAP grant and then give her the rest of the RESP. Truly she paid into it so its her money to apply to the cost and a judge will see it that way too. Not a hill to die on. If the calculation comes back, simply have the grant come off the top and then give her the benefit of the rest.

Quote:
Regarding the travel - thank you for the suggestion. He can thank her for eliminating the child's costs by including him in her drive to work (using a softer approach) and then offer a reasonable amount per week for gas. I guess we will see how that goes and then if she wants to fight it then we can bring it before a judge with our argument and hope for some reasonableness to be applied.
He could also calculate the km between her work and the school and calculate the cost there. Split it proportionate to income and tell her he will pay x dollars towards gas which is the difference between the school and her work. And dont fight her on it. Simply say this is what I am offering and let her do something about it.

Quote:
Regarding the OSAP docs and school costs for 1st year for the son living with us - I agree they are not a secret - the problem is is that if we provide them, she will dig it all up and cherry pick the items that she thinks benefit her and try to apply them to the current bill (yes - all 3 proportions owing on it have been set out). It is honestly not worth the aggrevation. We tried to get them to discuss school costs with us a year ago and by the time it was even acknowledged by them, his first year was done and they immediately closed the books on it within the Order.
So send it to her with a reminder about the order. As in As per the previously agreed to order, first year costs have been set out and are not open for negotiation. As such, I am sending these without prejudice for information purposes only. And leave it at that. She can cherry pick all she wants. Your partner doesnt have to play along. What is she going to do? Send a strongly worded email saying he owes her? Wooo scary.

Quote:
We have learned that her lawyer avoids clarification of anything because it allows her make the rules in her favour as she goes along and she is a tyrant. So we want to insist on an Amended Order first, before we cough anything up.
No her lawyer takes their orders from her. If she tells them to be an idiot, they will be an idiot. Just send the damn forms. I repeat, send the disclosure. You would have to do it for court anyway and that costs money. Sending it to her now is free. Then you ignore her bullshit.

Youre overthinking it. Send the documents and be done with it. You want payment for kids expenses that are eligible. If she says anything about the previous agreement you tell her you consider those expenses dealt with and irrelevant and then IGNORE HER.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2021, 06:53 PM
Clarityseeker Clarityseeker is offline
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Thank you for this perspective! I am an over thinker you are right and I appreciate you grounding me.

We are going to send the docs with your recommended wording!
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