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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 01-27-2011, 11:40 AM
Linear Linear is offline
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Default Our Saga Part One - Comments/Advice Welcomed

I'd like to share our story with everyone. We're still in the very early stages so you'll have a chance to follow along as we work through this. Please chime in with any comments, advice or case law you feel might be of any help.

First, a little history ...

- This is between my wife and her ex husband.
- They have two children, 11 and 8 and my wife is and has always been the primary caregiver. My wife and I have a three year old together.
- Ex sees the kids 2 days a week - has a good relationship with them.
- Ex pays $650/mth & 2/3 daycare and has never been in arrears.
- CS unchanged for 7 years
- Separated for 7 years, divorced for 4.


In August of 2009, my wife went to pickup the children at their father's house. She had decided it was time to discuss an increase in CS with her ex. As this was the first time she'd ever broached this subject since their separation six years earlier she felt it was both timely and fair due to the increasing cost of raising the children. It didn't go well for her. The ex became enraged and called the children to the door to tell them their mother was seeking more support and if he had to hire an attorney he would use the money from their Disney vacation fund. She knew he wouldn't be overly receptive to the idea (he's a bit of a cheapskate), but she had no idea he would behave the way he did. Since he refused to discuss a new CS arrangement between the two of them she asked for his personal and company returns as well as his company's salary breakdown. He agreed to provide his personal returns but refused to give her any documentation relating to his company. She left upset and confused.

A few days later she sent him a letter once again requesting full financial disclosure and informed him as to his legal obligation to provide this information under the Child Support Guidelines. Once again he refused, telling her to find herself an attorney. He also told her she would regret doing anything about it.

She and I discussed her next course of action and decided that if he was so unresponsive to an increase after 6 years he would probably behave the same way in the future. We decided she should at least speak to an attorney to discuss her options, or at the very least obtain his financial disclosure.

Now the saga begins ...

In early September 09, she made an appointment to meet with an attorney; the meeting was set for 3 weeks later. After two weeks she received a letter. It was from her ex's attorney and he was seeking 50% custody. He was also requesting that he no longer pay any child support as he would now take every second week off to look after the kids. My wife was distraught and called him. He told her that he had every right to seek the variation in custody and that she should have just left things the way they were - "I warned you you'd regret it, you should have left things alone".

So my wife meets with her attorney and begins to feel much better. Her attorney assured her there was very little chance of her ex being successful in trying to vary the custody order and was certain this was merely retaliation for requesting an increase in CS. To her attorney, this was a 'non-issue'.

A letter was sent to her ex's attorney requesting financial disclosure. Her attorney sent back his personal returns for 2007 - nothing else. Her attorney then sent letter number two .... then three. In December of 09 my wife had agreed to a round of collaborative law in an attempt to remedy the situation, however since she hadn't yet received disclosure her attorney canceled the meeting. A second meeting was later schedule for June 2nd, 2009. Two weeks before the meeting she still hadn't received full disclosure. Her attorney sent one final letter (number 5 or 6) stating that she would cancel the next collaborative meeting unless disclosure was made by week's end. Later that day disclosure was finally made ...

His personal returns showed an income of $1

His company income, on a $450k gross was .... $1

Of course we all shook our heads and waited for the the 4way meeting. Well, it didn't solve anything, and once again my wife felt as though this would go on forever. We'd spent a few thousand dollars already and she decided it just wasn't worth it to spend any more money, or drag this out anymore just for a few extra dollars in CS a month. She gave up.

So here we are seven or so months later and things are about to change. She decided she wanted her day in court. She decided she wanted him to stand in front of a judge and explain how he pays for CS, daycare, mortgage, cars, trips, and an RV all on $1 income. Sure he can write a lot of things off through the company, but this was excessive. This time she's going to self represent. And if the judge feels he truly made $1, we have no problem in letting him keep his $650 in CS. In the end, at least she can say she had her day in court and exercised her rights. At least she'll know she put up a fight even if the fight wasn't worth spending any more money on an attorney.

She's now seeking:

1. Variation of CS (retroactive to the date she first requested discussion of an increase) - impute income to at least that of his employees (60k)
2. Monies spent on attorney fees to acquire disclosure.
3. Variation in special expenses in proportion to new income.


We'll be serving him sometime next week.

Stay tuned for further episodes !

Linear
  #2  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:03 PM
susiecanoe susiecanoe is offline
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Funny how the courts do not even consider that you cannot with hold access if a payor is not paying his/her CS obligations, yet as soon as you file any kind of motion to deal with CS or a change in CS, the other party suddenly makes it into a custody and access dispute. Be prepared for a long and expensive drawn out battle in the courts. And clearly if this guy is so willing to say right in front of the kids, that Mom wants more support so they won't be going on any Disney Vacation, he clearly will say anything in front of the kids. As they get older, he may even try to alienate them from Mom. Not fair, it sucks, but that is how messed up our family court system is.

I am truly sorry you are going through this. I have been there. Now, I don't have my children at all ( 12 and 15) as my ex has estranged them from me all due to my requests for him to pay child support. PS - mine never did provide disclosure. Has not filed income tax in 10 years.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:42 PM
representingself representingself is offline
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Just so I am clear:

Your wife has two children, 8 and 11, and she has had primary physical custody for years.... She is receiving $650/month in child support, plus 2/3 of daycare expenses.

The Ontario tables outline a $650 entitlement for two children is reflective of an income of approx. $43,000 per year.

You believe he should be imputed an income of $58,000, which would result in a CS payment of $872 per month. (A difference of $222 per month). That is a substantial difference!

The ex has proven his inability to be reasonable, and he is clearly hiding his income. There is a very slim chance that he would be awarded any change in the custody arrangement...

Your wife has a pretty clear case for a CS adjustment, and per your other post, she is being reasonable with her requests.

I don't see any issues with her sucess if she self-represents, (but she shoudl seek proper legal guidance).

What I am wondering is why you want to impute an income to your new wife's ex husband's new wife...

I don't understand the relevance...

If she works for him, she is entitled to a salary, and he certainly isn't claiming a huge pay.

If he is hiding assets/income in her name, it should be easy to prove and a Judge will see right through their games.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
What I am wondering is why you want to impute an income to your new wife's ex husband's new wife...
I think he was implying they wished to impute the same income level the new wife makes to the ex-husband? Maybe?


I'm a little confused by the post myself, if it is indeed teh wife they want to impute the income to, I don't understand the relevance either.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 AM
Linear Linear is offline
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Hi representingself,

Thanks for the note. Regarding imputing his new wife's income - I guess what we mean is could the judge see this as a bit 'fishy' that his wife who owns her own trucking company is also being paid a salary driving for HIS company - especially since the ex used to make this truck run on his own prior to his new wife being trained as a driver. We would therefore impute HIS income higher than the $58k ... not actually impute HER income.

I don't know how we would prove he's hiding assets/income in her name. His brother, who is a close friend of ours, would tell us whenever her ex bought a new truck, and even the children believe all six trucks belong to him. We wouldn't consider asking his brother to make a statement in court however, it would only foster a lot of animosity within the family. When we were working with our attorney we received disclosure from her providing ownership of her trucks. In any case, all we're looking for is a reasonable income to base CS on - in this case we're seeing this as $58k as a driver on a set run, and a few more $$ as he has two employees driving his two other trucks. Of course, we're making the assumption these additional trucks are covering their own costs and putting some additional revenue into his pockets.

Thanks again,
Linear
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:02 PM
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Today we received our Motion from the clerk's office with our hearing date (hearing is only two months from now - wow); it's an exciting day. The ex has been increasing his level of "jerkitude" lately, but today's mail shows us a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. We'll be serving him on Saturday and are definitely expecting a sh!tstorm, but that's no longer our problem nor a concern - he can now voice his case to a judge. The court date has been set and we'll finally have closure - let the chips fall where they may.

It's going to be interesting to see how he responds to our motion! We'll keep you posted of further developments as we approach zero-hour.

Linear
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:16 AM
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There is no denying he is an ass. But, I am just curious (sorry to play a bit of devils advocate here) but is is really worth it to go through all the court costs, emotional costs, and disruption of what was a relatively working situation) for a couple hundred more per month? Haven't the lawyers eaten that up already?

I totally get that in principle he should just step up and do it but as I said he's clearly an ass. So, aside from his behaviour which you have no control over, I am wondering from your prospective if the benefits of fighting for more money has outweighed the costs in getting it?

No offense intended.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:56 PM
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Sometimes it's better to do things NOW, then have to do it later. The children will (hopefully) wish to pursue post secondary education at some point, so if he's balking at this minuscule increase NOW, imagine what happens when you try and get him to contribute to a 40K bill over 4 years, times TWO.

The ONLY ones that can determine whether it's worth it are the people involved.

That AND the request is both reasonable and what the law allows, so they have a good case to get their costs covered at least in part.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:40 PM
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You have very valid points NBDad. I was simply curious in hearing the perspective of weighing the cost of peace for principal. I imagine everyone has a different value marker of when they want to fight for something.

I was in no way trying to demean Linear. I think they are being reasonable in their requests and they have every reason to choose to fight for what is right. I just think it a shame that what seemed to be working by what he described has turned to a war zone for everyone.

It is just my opinion and curiosity. I in no way mean to step on anyones toes or lay judgment to the choices people make. Everyone has to listen to their own guidance system.
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