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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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  #1  
Old 03-03-2016, 02:46 PM
hdc1894 hdc1894 is offline
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Hello Everyone,
My wife and I are just beginning our divorce process. It has been a long time coming but it is here now and trying to figure out my next steps. I won't get into all the details here now but I think that we can seperate amicably or at least with out a battle. We have been married for 16 years. We own a home and have investments but there will be no games with those. I am sure we will come to a 50/50 split without a fight. We have one son who is 14. We have heard about and read about cases where couples can avoid court and costly lawyers fees (we can't afford them!) if they can agree to particulars for the most part. There is a lot advice on what to do next but not sure what my next step is? To the courthouse for the divorce package to start a joint divorce process? Can we use the same lawyer in this situation? Do we need independant advice if we can agree ourselves on support, custody, etc? One of my biggest questions is around entitlement to SS. We are both Masters level educated (but couldn't figure this marriage thing out LOL). I supported here through her Masters and she through mine. I have higher income but she should be fine on hers. No long streatches of time out of work to care for child other than first year and one jointly agreed to year when son was 5. We moved and she was unemployed for a while but was looking for work.

I guess a lot of people start off with optimism of no fighting in the process but I really think we can do this without a huge battle and split everything and decide what to do is best for our kid. Everything I have seen on big battles is when one person tries to hide something or misrepresent in the process. I don't think that will be the case.

Any and all advice is appreciated.

H
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:48 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdc1894 View Post
Can we use the same lawyer in this situation?
Generally you each need your own lawyer to make the lawyer worthwhile. Getting only one lawyer is worthless. There was a recent thread on this, should be on the main page.

That said, you technically don't need any lawyers at all. You can purchase a kit at Indigo.

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One of my biggest questions is around entitlement to SS. We are both Masters level educated (but couldn't figure this marriage thing out LOL). I supported here through her Masters and she through mine. I have higher income but she should be fine on hers. No long streatches of time out of work to care for child other than first year and one jointly agreed to year when son was 5. We moved and she was unemployed for a while but was looking for work.
You haven't disclosed incomes. "Fine" is a very fuzzy term.

Just to play devil's advocate. You both agreed that she should take a year off of work. It is possible that this year permanently damaged her ability to earn income. As such, she is entitled to compensation for the sacrifice she made for the family.

Doesn't mean that she will necessarily ask for it, but if she does be aware that she might have entitlement.

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Everything I have seen on big battles is when one person tries to hide something or misrepresent in the process. I don't think that will be the case.
You throw out the term "50/50", have you actually worked out the schedule?
What school is your kid going to attend?
Which address will the kid use?
What happens if one of you moves?
Who pays for activities?
How is child support going to be calculated?

Just throwing out potential obstacles towards a peaceful resolution. I think big battles happen when both parties have different concepts of "fair". Once you throw lawyers into the mix, "fair" gets mixed up with "entitled", and since entitled has nothing to do with fair, things can get bad rather quickly.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:23 PM
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Is there a logical reason why your incomes are not the same? How far apart are they?
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdc1894 View Post
I guess a lot of people start off with optimism of no fighting in the process but I really think we can do this without a huge battle and split everything and decide what to do is best for our kid. Everything I have seen on big battles is when one person tries to hide something or misrepresent in the process. I don't think that will be the case.

Any and all advice is appreciated.
I've recently been seeing separating couples who have their agreement together, as you and your ex seem to, retaining one lawyer to give general advice and draft the first agreement based on the respective wishes; and then both parties are sent out for ILA. ($900-1000 drafting, $300-500 respective ila).

With your kidlet at the age of 14, one of you could be paying cs or offset cs, but it isn't that big of a deal for the higher income earner or non custodial. And, of course, in your case -short-termed.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:39 PM
hdc1894 hdc1894 is offline
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Thanks to all. Our incomes are different because totally different lines of work. She makes approx 55-60k. She just finished school and is starting a new job so not exact numbers as she has 2 part-time jobs versus one full time. Her past incomes are much lower than mine as she only had one part time job paying approx. 25k. Newer job has much higher wage. My income is 110K. I don't believe she had experiences any ability to earn income being decreased as a result of choices to stay home. Was in a different province and was 8 years ago. The average income in ontario for someone with her degree type is $65k according to statscan.

My hopes for kid is same school, I would cover activities after discussing with STBX as my income is higher. I think we are aligned on what is best for the kid is to stay in same town with support, friends, activities, etc. If she wants to move away (has been mentioned) i hope for shared custody with me having primary residence but extremely liberal access (whenever they both want). but with base of EOWE and one social night per week. I want is best for him, period.

I think we will try to do ourselves and I like your advice mcdreamy. I will propose that.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:53 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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EOWE and 1 night a week. Means someone is going to be paying full child support. 50/50 parenting you will pay offset. CS is the right of the child and usually cannot be waived.

Make sure you work all that out.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:56 PM
hdc1894 hdc1894 is offline
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Thanks for the reply Beach. By my calculations, the SS i would have to pay would offset CS amount she would have to pay in that situation. If she stays in town, we will have one week her and then one week me and I will be paying both I am sure.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:07 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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Child support is a table calculation. SS is a proven calculation. If she chooses to move she may not get SS
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:10 PM
hdc1894 hdc1894 is offline
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This will be one of my many challnges in this process I am sure. Trying to be "fair" as I don't really need her money for anything. If she covers expenses while he is with her that is good enough for me but i am sure it will get messier than that.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:37 PM
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Its good to be fair but in most cases the ugly comes out. You are best to put everything down on paper so its set. How school will be paid for, how expenses will be paid for, how travel will be arranged should one of you move, how documents will get signed etc.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and you both could be as fine as you can right now. Things change and so do people and never for the better. Not to be a negative nelly but you should have everything laid out so you can get through the next eight years as pain free as possible.
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