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  #1  
Old 08-24-2018, 02:28 AM
divorce101 divorce101 is offline
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Hi Everyone. I thought divorce101 would be appropriate as I certainly hope to gain some knowledge.
Well after being in an abusive relationship for over 35 years (31 years married) I could not take it any longer and asked for a divorce in February. I really wanted things to be amicable as neither of us could really afford lawyers and I did not want things to become nasty because of the adult children....it began amicably until I mentioned I did not know how to separate pensions and would need a little help as I had taken early retirement and at the time had no means (and yes, I found casual employment)..... Next thing I know, my x secured a lawyer and filed for a divorce dating back many months in 2017. I was never served. Only had a letter from x's lawyer which I initially responded to, then x's lawyer asked for my financials..... It was then that I scrambled to seek representation myself. It has became extremely ugly.
We had the JCC in which my X and lawyer were caught in stating untruths so we have been released from this process. I have ran around like a chicken with my head cut off gathering 3 years of statements from financial institutions, credit cards etc to make sure documents were in by the required date. My X has not disclosed documents after a second request from my lawyer, and has purchased another location to reside in.....I am extremely worn out and frustrated by the entire process. Our court date has been set for spring 2019. I have no idea what to expect from now until then and am not getting any real answers from my representative. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to keep my mouth shut and stayed in the physical and emotionally abusive relationship than going through this hell! Any advice/knowledge is certainly appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:57 AM
ifonlyihadknown ifonlyihadknown is offline
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Originally Posted by divorce101 View Post
I have no idea what to expect from now until then and am not getting any real answers from my representative.
Really sorry you have to go through this. It seems that the Family Court system was designed to inflict maximum pain on us in our most vulnerable moments.

I only have a couple of words of advice:
  • Expect the other side to act like jerks. Especially your STBX's lawyer. You hope that they are civil but their jobs is to screw you over to the benefit of their client. And in a long term marriage, there is a lot at stake. Don't believe a word of what either of them says.
  • You comment about not getting real answers from your lawyer worries me. They are supposed to be on your side. Make sure you have a lawyer that you are comfortable with. You've hired them. You can fire them.
  • At some point this will all end and you'll be in a better place. Keep that in mind.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:15 AM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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My advice would be to educate yourself about Family Law. This forum is a great place to start. The search function is your best friend I found Taykens post invaluable and made it a mission to read everyone of them.

Also Canlii, I read as many cases I could that I though were close to my situation.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:58 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Having been married for 30 years I find your comments a bit dramatic. Surely in the 35 years you were together you had some happiness? You had better drop the "abusive relationship" part because if you stayed with the guy for 3 decades no one will believe you. It really matters not anyhow. You could have had a blissful marriage and decided to divorce. Comes down to basically splitting the assets/debts.

You sound as though you had no interest/involvement in household finances if it took you that long to get your financials organized.

Divorce is very tiring and it can go on for many, many years. If you have equity in your home then you can expect it to go on for years as the lawyers do a very quick and efficient summary of your financials when they agree to represent you. If you have little money your divorce will probably be settled quickly. If you have plenty of equity in your home (what's left over after mortgage is paid off) then you can pretty much be assured the divorce will take years. You are "billable hours" to a lawyer - nothing more/less.

If you can make an arrangement/settlement with your ex you will both be better off.

If you have no money and are fighting over debt then don't worry... the lawyers will quickly drop you.

You can win (settle quickly) or lose (drag the matter through court for many years).
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:52 AM
divorce101 divorce101 is offline
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Arabian,
Abuse can go on for many years, and many will never leave their situations for various reasons. Certainly I regret not leaving a long time ago, but there is always hope for change....when times are good.
I do not need validation, nor to be criticized for my choices/or lack thereof....it is what it is.
I actually was very good at taking care of the family finances. Most everything we owned was paid for including the family home.
I tried to end things amicably. Vehicles were split, assets sold, but once I mentioned pensions I dealt with my x's explosive temper, and from there on, things have turned very ugly. I made the mistake of trusting my x that we could keep lawyers out of our ultimate divorce.
Certainly, I had made my choice and was only wondering if anyone could give me any insight as to the conflicting separation dates and the process. I have read a lot of information since separation but I cannot find information pertaining to my situation. We are at the point we are also supposed to give an inventory......
Also I mentioned the STBX lawyer requested my financials without my being served...so unsure what you have meant by the remark that it took me so long to get financials in order???

Last edited by divorce101; 08-26-2018 at 03:56 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:35 AM
denbigh denbigh is offline
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Iím not sure what you mean by being served? Why would you to be forced to share financials instead of just sharing them? You are both required to share financials, so just do it. If you wait to be forced to it makes you look like the unreasonable one. If you want it to go faster then share the info that you need.

If it is distressing then take the emotion out of it and look at it like a business transaction ( which it is). You are entitled to leave the marriage with to leave the marriage with half the assets. End of story that is fair. That is law. Donít respond to any negative comments or temper tantrums. Either cut of communication and let the lawyers do the communications, or if you must speak to ex, do it in email instead of in person. State what you need, with no emetics invomved and if get a nasty reply donít respond back
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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arabian arabian is offline
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I apologize - I misread your initial post as you having taken 3 years to amass your documentation (when you stated you ran around to get 3 years' worth of information).

Denbigh is correct in that you have to take the emotion out of things. This is why we hire lawyers.

I attended one (1) 4-way meeting with ex and his lawyer and my lawyer. Total waste of time and I refused to participate in any going forward. That was in Alberta. I opted instead for a JDR (judicial dispute resolution) which is essentially binding arbitration. We were divorced 9 months later. Along the way my lawyer motioned my ex for financial disclosure. He of course did not comply so the judge ended up using my material to make decisions. Also along the way from separation to divorce my lawyer made motions and MANY offers to settle. That is the reasonable way to proceed.

In order to save money (your lawyer's bill will be substantial after several months) don't nit-pick over small things. Be prepared to concede on many issues (example - house contents may not be worth your time/anxiety to fight over). Calculate your lawyer's hourly rate before you do anything. Fight the fights worth fighting.

It all comes down to money in the end.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:33 PM
divorce101 divorce101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denbigh View Post
Iím not sure what you mean by being served? Why would you to be forced to share financials instead of just sharing them? You are both required to share financials, so just do it. If you wait to be forced to it makes you look like the unreasonable one. If you want it to go faster then share the info that you need.

If it is distressing then take the emotion out of it and look at it like a business transaction ( which it is). You are entitled to leave the marriage with to leave the marriage with half the assets. End of story that is fair. That is law. Donít respond to any negative comments or temper tantrums. Either cut of communication and let the lawyers do the communications, or if you must speak to ex, do it in email instead of in person. State what you need, with no emetics invomved and if get a nasty reply donít respond back




denbigh


I had replied to the first letter from my STBX's lawyer confirming that we had agreed to separate a lot of the possessions (vehicles already had been transferred), but also mentioned that I had been the one to ask for a divorce months prior. Right after my reply, I was asked to pick up documents from that lawyers office. In it was request for my financial statement. That is when I realized I needed legal advice. I had a heck of a time finding representation. I was able to reach a lawyer that was willing to travel to our community. That lawyer was on his way for a long vacation....but told me not to complete any documents as I had not been served the Family Claim Notice. (I have never been served those documents, only amended ones) Upon paying the retainer my lawyers office sent confirmation of representation and that things would be on hold til their return. In the interim, my STBX was coming while I was at work 'cherry picking' and removing a whole lot of possessions that were not even discussed.....All fairness had gone down the toilet. So yes I will admit that I also removed items. I was not allowed to change the locks. Since my legal representative's return I have jumped through every hoop asked of me to meet the deadline for having documentation in by. Meanwhile my STBX has only turned in documents showing open/closed dates of accounts with no history and still has not completed his Financial Statement.....and my lawyers office has second requested documents.
It is already becoming expensive....It was my understanding that once we were released from the JCC system that the 2 lawyers could discuss a lot on the telephone (that is what I was told by my representative). My STBX has emailed twice since court stating that he wants me to let him know what he has of mine, and he will let me know what I have he wants.....I have not responded as we were ordered at the JCC to complete an inventory. He also has taken well over 3 times the value that I have been left with and received the more expensive vehicles. I absolutely understand that the lawyers are eating up all we both worked for, but at the same time aren't all assets to be divided equally? Can I request mediation at this point? The entire system is ridiculous and makes wealthy individuals even wealthier off the backs of people who are going through one of the lowest points of their entire lives. I certainly do not want to go to court and waste more money that I cannot afford, but at the same token I will fight for my separation date as there was some debt my STBX will be sticking me with if he can backdate his divorce. I truly feel that my STBX and his lawyer are merely stalling and trying to starve me out.
Can anyone tell me what happens after the JCC....what is the 'Discovery' and will it deal with the possessions at that time?

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Old 08-26-2018, 10:03 PM
divorce101 divorce101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifonlyihadknown View Post
Really sorry you have to go through this. It seems that the Family Court system was designed to inflict maximum pain on us in our most vulnerable moments.

I only have a couple of words of advice:
  • Expect the other side to act like jerks. Especially your STBX's lawyer. You hope that they are civil but their jobs is to screw you over to the benefit of their client. And in a long term marriage, there is a lot at stake. Don't believe a word of what either of them says.
  • You comment about not getting real answers from your lawyer worries me. They are supposed to be on your side. Make sure you have a lawyer that you are comfortable with. You've hired them. You can fire them.
  • At some point this will all end and you'll be in a better place. Keep that in mind.
I have already learned what the other side is capable....right down to lies in court. I had difficulty finding a lawyer that would travel to our community in the 1st place....so finding another is not an option. It is going to be an uphill battle all the way. I know I will be fine once I get to the other side....it is just the 'getting there' that is going to be difficult. Thank you for your reply/it is appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:22 AM
denbigh denbigh is offline
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I woulndt worry about if ex has the more expensive vehicles, because those can be delt with in the equalization. If ex takes the more expensive vehicles, then you will be compenstated in some other way, with cash, or more pension, or investements, of house equity or something. do you have expensive things that you are disagreeing on? like jewlery and fine art work, expensive tools? because if it is just regular house hold stuff like used furniture, dishes and sheets, you will pay more in lawyers fees than it is worth. you only value things at to what you would get in a garage sale or kijiji.

The debt is probalby a bigger issue. How is it the separation date is up for debate? did you live inthe same house in separate bedrooms for sometime, and then you took on adebt that is only in your name? I believe that does affect the separation date. If your financials were still linked, even if living apart in the same house, maybe that would still be considered not separated? I am not sure.
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