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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:04 PM
Mark1968 Mark1968 is offline
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Default Paying support for over 18 yr old high school drop out

Some of you are already familiar with my predicament. I am paying support for an almost 20 year old high school drop out. I have no communication with my ex or son, in 2011 he texted me to f-off. I’ve send ex numerous requests for disclosure via registered mail, facebook and FRO (asking to discontinue support). To no avail.

After months of trying to obtain school records, my court order stipulates I am entitled to all of them and to meet with teachers, principals, etc., I finally have the information. In order to obtain it I sent several registered letters, with my court order attached, to various neighbourhood schools as the original school informed me son was no longer attending and the records follow the student. The school informed me that they had no information as to where the records had been sent. One of the secretaries at the neighbouring schools I had contacted called the original school and obtained the information for me. She told me, via e-mail, exactly where the records were sent.

So here is what I know:

1. Son did not attend any school between June 2011 and February 2012. Needs 7 credits to obtain a high school diploma.
2. In Feb 2012 son enrolled in the aforementioned Adult Alternative school. Rarely attended the four courses he was enrolled in, passed 2, failed 2. Each course lasts 3 months for 1 hour a day.
3. This academic year son enrolled in two courses, is expected to attend school for 2 hours per day for those two courses. Since beginning school in Sept. son has attended one of the courses one time each and was late each time. No hope of passing either one because the course ends in Nov. He missed one month thus far.

I feel I have enough to return to court and end support however ex has access to legal aid and tends to draw out the case. Considering she did not provide the info requested of her despite my numerous attempts to obtain it and she did not agree with FRO’s inquiry to end enforcement, can I ask her to reimburse me for my legal fees? Do I have a leg to stand on? I don't have the money for another drawn out case, I feel afraid of the legal system. The last time we were in court ex tried to impute income to me that was almost 3 times what I made and the judge agreed despite the fact that I was a T4 employee. Ex said I had a cash buisness on the side, with no proof, and despite the fact that I had a 40+ hours a week regular job. Judge agree with this because I was a "trades person" capable of having a cash side job because I'm trades man in the construction industry therefore capbale of making cash on the side. As though having a 40+ hour a week job would allow for that, given that I have a family that I am involved in.

Ex will argue that son has a learning disability. When he was in foster care it was determined that there was no learning disability, not even ADD, which ex was pushing for. Ex did inform me, when we were on speaking terms back in 2006 that she was pushing for child to be recognized as having a disability by the school to obtain a free laptop. This did happen. I have 2 independent learning plans that were organized via the school board with only child advocating for himself. They are from 2012. They don’t mention what type of disability it is, only that there is distraction and lack of attendance. Prior to child turning 16, attendance was not great but there were passing marks. Ex told me that as soon as son turns 16 she will no longer be responsible for truancy. This was a huge issue and one of the many reasons for the involvement of Children's Aid. After 16 the issue of non attendance ballooned and the failing began.

The paper work I have from doctors that acknowledge there is no learning disability is from 2009 and 2010, given to me via Catholic Children’s Aid, ex and I had not been in regular contact since 2007, no contact at all since 2009. She has ignored all my attempts to get any info.

Via social media I see that my son is partying, getting tattoos, drinking, etc. Will I be able to use this against ex when she argues that child is depressed and has a learning disability? I know she will argue this point. She enables him, he doesn't have a job despite not going to school. I can't imagine what he does all day, other than what I see via social media, sleep all day, party all night.

Thanks a lot for any insight. I am hesitant to return to court because of what happened the last time and I simply don't have the money to continue paying support and pay for a lawyer.

  #2  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:18 PM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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Quote:
can I ask her to reimburse me for my legal fees?
You could plead a claim for costs at court. If you were successful, you are likely to receipt 30-60% of your legal fees back.

Quote:
1. Son did not attend any school between June 2011 and February 2012. Needs 7 credits to obtain a high school diploma.
2. In Feb 2012 son enrolled in the aforementioned Adult Alternative school. Rarely attended the four courses he was enrolled in, passed 2, failed 2. Each course lasts 3 months for 1 hour a day.
3. This academic year son enrolled in two courses, is expected to attend school for 2 hours per day for those two courses. Since beginning school in Sept. son has attended one of the courses one time each and was late each time. No hope of passing either one because the course ends in Nov. He missed one month thus far.
Two hours per day is not full time education. Therefore, you may wish to pursue a claim that he is not a child of the marriage and not entitled to support.
  #3  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:52 PM
Mark1968 Mark1968 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrleansLawyer View Post
You could plead a claim for costs at court. If you were successful, you are likely to receipt 30-60% of your legal fees back.


Two hours per day is not full time education. Therefore, you may wish to pursue a claim that he is not a child of the marriage and not entitled to support.
I know it's not full time, we fall under the FLA, not the Divorce Act so the rules are even more strict. But my ex will argue disability and disadvantage. Given what happened last time and the fact that the judge did not demand proof of her at all while chastsing me for lack of proof (I did not have to but provided full financial disclosure of my and my current wife's incomes in order to prove our standard of living. I was not making a claim of hardship. Ex had to provide academic and medical records and bank account to which I deposited funds. She provided nothing. We ended up settling because the case was drawn out for 2 years with constant case conferences costing upwards of 1K for me, nothing for her, and rescheduling of case conferences, at about $650 a pop.

If I wait too long, I know I won't receive the overpayment at all. I would like to have it back so as to cover the legal fees involved.

I know I have a case, I also know I don't have the funds to fight it out in court with someone who receives legal aid and is not worried at all about lying under oath or contempt due to not providing requested disclosure.
  #4  
Old 09-21-2012, 03:57 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1968 View Post
I know I have a case, I also know I don't have the funds to fight it out in court with someone who receives legal aid and is not worried at all about lying under oath or contempt due to not providing requested disclosure.
Even if she has legal aid, she can still be required to pay costs. See WorkingDads case citation.
  #5  
Old 09-22-2012, 08:09 PM
Mark1968 Mark1968 is offline
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Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
Even if she has legal aid, she can still be required to pay costs. See WorkingDads case citation.
Thanks, I have read both decisions concerning Workingdad and I admire him. For someone who is not a native English speaker, not familiar with the Justice system or other related organizations, it is absolutely amazing that he was able to obtain both verdicts without representation.

I'm in a different boat as my ex does not have any contact with me. I feel she is guilty of contemp due to not providing the info required by the Court Order and requested by me. In workingdad's case his ex participated in deceitful and unreasonable actions which could be presented in court. Mine simply ignores me all together.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:18 PM
knackered knackered is offline
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I remember I commented somewhere saying that I could see my ex pulling something like this with the kids/I've read things like this other times on this forum......someone replied to me that it was impossible to ever happen and no one has ever wrote about it on here.
Well here is another case of it.....
  #7  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:33 AM
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It's retardedly simple to do this. The courts will not give you what you do not ask for.

1. Send the ex an email requesting proof of enrollment in full time post secondary. Give her 10 days to respond

2. Day 11, you send a letter registered mail, signature required requesting the same thing. Again, 10 days to respond.

3. Day 21, again, you send it registered mail, signature required, and indicate that as your understanding is that he is no longer enrolled in full time post secondary education and is of the age of majority, he is no longer a child of the marriage. As such you are requesting she acknowledge that support ends effective immediately and request that she withdraw from FRO enforcement. Include the completed FRO Notice of Withdrawal form, requiring only her signature.

4. Day 31, you file the paperwork with FRO. NOTICE TO END SUPPORT.

If that is unsuccessful, you then proceed to step 5.

5. File motion with the court to end support on the basis that the child is not enrolled in full time post secondary and is over the age of majority. You also request costs and that any support paid through FRO from xx-xx-xxxx date to be returned to you.

In order to ask for costs and any overpayment to be returned, you MUST do steps 3 and 4. THAT is the correct process for FRO. As part of step 5, you attach all the email chains, the print offs showing service of the registered letters as well as any documentation received from FRO regarding the notice to end support as exhibit evidence.

If the ex does not provide proof the child is enrolled in full time post secondary, then support should end. That is the law. If a judge allows otherwise, the judgement is an error in law, and can/should be appealed.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:52 AM
Mark1968 Mark1968 is offline
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Thanks NBDad,

I don't have e-mail contact with ex, I've sent messages via facebook but received no response and no acknowledgement that they were even received.

Son should have graduated in June 2011 but I knew based on school records from 2009 and 2010 that he would not. So I sent ex a registered letter requesting proof of full time enrollment in school in Sept, I figured high school. Even in 2011, prior to and after turning 18 son was only taking 4 courses and failed 3 (this would be his 5th year in high school, Sept 2012 would be the 6th with only 2 courses being taken and no attendance ). My letter was ignored. I contacted FRO and asked for the order to stop being enforced, ex had 30 days to respond, she responded that she wished to continue and would not consent to withdrawl from FRO.

I reversed the steps, since I contacted FRO first and then once I had their response I sent the registered letter. I will do it again in the correct order. Is it a problem that I will skip the step with the e-mail?

Since our court order of 2009 ex changed employment, the home number and her cell. I have no contact with her and other than letters no ability to contact her.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:23 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1968 View Post
I will do it again in the correct order. Is it a problem that I will skip the step with the e-mail?
Just change the email to an extra registered letter IMO. For the sake of a few $$ you want to ensure you've covered the motions and given her a reasonable opportunity to disclose the childs schooling.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1968 View Post
I feel I have enough to return to court and end support however ex has access to legal aid and tends to draw out the case.
Knowing this, you have to express this clearly to your lawyer. You have to monitor what work is being done, and have pressure applied to accelerate the issues through the system.
Quote:
Considering she did not provide the info requested of her despite my numerous attempts to obtain it and she did not agree with FRO’s inquiry to end enforcement, can I ask her to reimburse me for my legal fees?
Here is the deal with legal fees. You will go to court with a number of issues. Separate them. If you win some of those issues, you may ask for costs. If you lose some, you will only get partial costs, or the costs will be offset against hers. If you win them all, you are in good position to see most of your costs covered. If you lose, Legal Aid will seek costs.


Quote:
Do I have a leg to stand on? I don't have the money for another drawn out case, I feel afraid of the legal system.
In law, the child must be enrolled in a full-time program. However judges will make exceptions, for example if the child is working for a semester or two to save tuition. A lot hinges here on your child's alleged disability. A lot will also hinge on whether there are clear plans for future education.


You have to be clear about what you are asking. Within the school system there should be IEP reports to justify whether your child did or did not qualify for special ed. You need to have those reports in order to back up your arguments, in addition to the reports from CAS you already have. The more documentation you get, the more secure your argument is. It is not enough to say "The mother hasn't proven anything." You have to have proof to support your position.

Quote:
The last time we were in court ex tried to impute income to me that was almost 3 times what I made and the judge agreed despite the fact that I was a T4 employee. Ex said I had a cash buisness on the side, with no proof, and despite the fact that I had a 40+ hours a week regular job. Judge agree with this because I was a "trades person" capable of having a cash side job because I'm trades man in the construction industry therefore capbale of making cash on the side. As though having a 40+ hour a week job would allow for that, given that I have a family that I am involved in.
I believe this happened, but it is ridiculous. Was this a full trial or a motion hearing? Did you have a lawyer? I can't believe this would have passed a thorough cross examination. Look at how much you were imputed, how much it has cost you over the years, and consider how much a lawyer would cost.


Again, document, document, document. Show a detailed budget with receipts, details of all of your accounts, show were your money is coming from, make sure it all adds up. If you were getting cash paid, where would the money be going? In your mattress? Show that you aren't living above your means and that you have no excess investments. Show your work attendance records, not just say that you have a 40 hour a week job.


Quote:
Ex will argue that son has a learning disability. When he was in foster care it was determined that there was no learning disability, not even ADD, which ex was pushing for. Ex did inform me, when we were on speaking terms back in 2006 that she was pushing for child to be recognized as having a disability by the school to obtain a free laptop.
A program like this probably has weaker criteria. That said, you need to have your own facts with documents to support them, it's not enough to just disbelieve what she says.

Quote:
This did happen. I have 2 independent learning plans that were organized via the school board with only child advocating for himself. They are from 2012. They don’t mention what type of disability it is, only that there is distraction and lack of attendance. Prior to child turning 16, attendance was not great but there were passing marks. Ex told me that as soon as son turns 16 she will no longer be responsible for truancy. This was a huge issue and one of the many reasons for the involvement of Children's Aid. After 16 the issue of non attendance ballooned and the failing began.
The critical issue here is did the IEP recommend a special ed program? If so, you have a weaker case. If not, the child has no excuse to be out of school other than choice.


Quote:
The paper work I have from doctors that acknowledge there is no learning disability is from 2009 and 2010, given to me via Catholic Children’s Aid, ex and I had not been in regular contact since 2007, no contact at all since 2009. She has ignored all my attempts to get any info.
Whether she ignores or not, you have your own documentation. You can require the school board to provide the IEPs if you do not already have them.

Quote:
Via social media I see that my son is partying, getting tattoos, drinking, etc. Will I be able to use this against ex when she argues that child is depressed and has a learning disability? I know she will argue this point. She enables him, he doesn't have a job despite not going to school. I can't imagine what he does all day, other than what I see via social media, sleep all day, party all night.
In order to use the social media you need to clearly make it relevant to the point you make. Any argument needs a connecting statement to show how your evidence is related to the issue. Don't have a fantasy that a judge will just "get it." That is how you lose your arguments.
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