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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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Old 09-22-2011, 08:26 AM
alarmguy1 alarmguy1 is offline
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Default Ex common law wife not paying her fair share

I split with my common law wife 4 years ago. 2 kids, now 10 and 11. The kids live with me for 1 week and then with her for 1 week. We don't live far apart. So far its worked well. At the time of the split, we divided the assets equally. I bought her share of our house. She took her share and purchased a house. We did not use a lawyer and nothing was filed with the courts. We copied a simple agreement from a friends divorce/custody order, with respect to holidays, schools, and other issues. Our agreement states that we split the common expenses for the children, no support for her or the kids are provided. 2 years ago, my ex was outsourced, lost her job and was unemployed for 2 years. Because she couldn’t afford her fair share, I covered all the expenses. Now she is working. Her income is about 1/2 of what is was. One of my sons requires extra help with school so I enrolled him in one of those learning centres. My ex says she can't afford to pay her fair share. So now I'm stuck with all the expenses. I don't think its right that I pay all the expenses while she pays off her mortgage. I've asked her why she wouldn’t sell her house, capture the 200k of equity, and pay her fair share. I'll spare you the details of the response.

So, what are my options? Any suggestions?
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:46 AM
mom2three mom2three is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alarmguy1 View Post
I split with my common law wife 4 years ago. 2 kids, now 10 and 11. The kids live with me for 1 week and then with her for 1 week. We don't live far apart. So far its worked well. At the time of the split, we divided the assets equally. I bought her share of our house. She took her share and purchased a house. We did not use a lawyer and nothing was filed with the courts. We copied a simple agreement from a friends divorce/custody order, with respect to holidays, schools, and other issues. Our agreement states that we split the common expenses for the children, no support for her or the kids are provided. 2 years ago, my ex was outsourced, lost her job and was unemployed for 2 years. Because she couldn’t afford her fair share, I covered all the expenses. Now she is working. Her income is about 1/2 of what is was. One of my sons requires extra help with school so I enrolled him in one of those learning centres. My ex says she can't afford to pay her fair share. So now I'm stuck with all the expenses. I don't think its right that I pay all the expenses while she pays off her mortgage. I've asked her why she wouldn’t sell her house, capture the 200k of equity, and pay her fair share. I'll spare you the details of the response.

So, what are my options? Any suggestions?
While it may not seem right, life isn't always fair. She has to put a roof over the childrens' heads.

Your initial agreement was fair given the fact that you both had incomes that were basically equal to each other. Now that your income and her's are vastly different, she can request child support under the guidelines; you make no mention that she has done so.

You are asking that she pay an equal share of extraordinary expenses (which I have no idea what these would amount to); these would be based on your proportional shares depending on your incomes.

In order to make the choice whether or not to enforce her to pay a proportional share of those expenses you will need to take into account the amount of child support you would owe her every month and the amount of extraordinary expenses she would then be required to pay you; then you can decide if it is worth fighting for, particularly considering the time and money that such a fight would entail.

Are the expenses MORE than what you would owe her each month in child support? Considering that you make twice the amount of income than she does, yet you do not pay her child support suggests to me that this is one of those circumstances where you should let sleeping dogs lie; you are financially better off do so.

In the meantime, keep a detailed accounting of all expenses you incur, more particularly extraordinary expenses, should she ever take it upon herself to request child support, given your differences in income.

It must be remembered that no agreement is ground in stone; when there are life changes, the court has the discretion to alter that agreement.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:30 PM
alarmguy1 alarmguy1 is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply. I understand they kids need a roof, but that doesn't mean than a rental roof is somehow substandard to ownership. It just burns me up that even though someone has assets, they cant be required to use them. During the last 2 years, I've spent a total of about 5k on the kids, in the grand scope of things, its nothing. Ongoing expenses for the learning centre are 350/mth. I'm sure at least from my end, its a can of worms I won't open.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:57 PM
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billm billm is offline
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You are supposed to raise your kids in proportion to income - which means you would have been paying her a lot of CS for the time she had very little or no income, and still some CS now that she makes less than you.

So you are ahead of the 'game' by not paying CS.

The extra course you signed him up for is optional, and she does not have to pay for it. If it went to court, it may be considered not optional, but my take is that it is an optional expense and neither of you have to pay for it if you don't want to.

Your best option is to be happy you don't pay offset CS.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:15 PM
alarmguy1 alarmguy1 is offline
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Good and prudent advice. Thanks
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:00 PM
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mcdreamy mcdreamy is offline
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Alarm guy, just as an aside, did you do any research on the learning centre? Or did someone recommend you to them?

If you are speaking of Sylvan or a similar program, from experiences of my friends, I don't think they work that well, and are overpriced. I haven't heard any great feedback. Most of my friends wound up hiring tutors.

Good luck,
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:06 PM
alarmguy1 alarmguy1 is offline
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Interesting.

Well, I asked the ex to look around for a tutor or a program. She knew he was struggling. She wasn’t working so it was a little project. After 2 months all I got was, "so and so had a tutor, its 65 per hour". My concern was that I saw no program, nothing, only 65/hr (cash). The location wasn’t all that convenient for me either. We (me and my new wife) looked at sylvan, kumon, and Oxford, ex was uninterested in assisting in the choice. In the end, it was Oxford, although they all have really nice promo material, at least its a program, if you know what I mean, not someones kitchen table. (reminded me of the hard sell Encyclopedia Britannica you know, nothing is too expensive for your kids future, but I digress). During my research I found that people are unhappy with all of them, for one reason or another. Keeping in mind that each one is a franchise, I thought I'd try Oxford and see how my son would do. From December to June, he attended twice a week. Oxford was great communicating with his teacher at school, that helped. At the end of the year, he had brought up his reading a full grade level, almost where he needs to be, math skills also went up. So I guess I found a good location for him. P.S. At the end of the year, ex wasn’t at all interested in meeting with them to find out the results. Oh well. As a child who also had to learning issues (In grade 5, they, the school, 'discovered' I couldn’t read), I know what sacrifices my folks made to ensure I could succeed and will continue to do whatever I need to do, whether the ex contributes any share :-) or not.
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