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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 03-10-2007, 03:43 PM
sammysdad sammysdad is offline
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Default Paying spousal support on $40 000 per year

I am a new group member who has been reviewing posts as a guest for about a month. My wife and I moved to Alberta 2 years ago to be near her sister who is dying of cancer. We have two children. One is 20 and the other is 14.

My wife left me about a year after we moved to Alberta, one year ago. She claimed she was unhappy and essentially told me she wanted a divorce and told me to leave our home. We have been married for 21 years. I am 46 years old and she is 45. She has a high school education and I have minimal education but have been steadily employed as a corrections officer for about 20 years.

My wife has been mainly a stay at home mother but takes chidren into our home to babysit. She actually earnes a pretty good living making tax free money every month in the amount of $1500 - $2000.

A couple of months ago I received divorce papers from her lawyer. She is asking for child support for our 14 year old and spousal support. As our older son is employed full-time and does not want to go to school anytime soon, she is not seeking support for him even though he is living with her. I think that is fair and so does my lawyer.

I was asked to submit my financial information and tax returns for the past three years. I guess the two lawyers somehow came up with an average of the past three years and have decided on child support based on that. We are in agreement to $331 per month for our 14 year old. That is based on the average salary of 40,000 a year.

Here is where there is a big problem for me. She also wants spousal support. She is now saying that she is on public assistance and that's all she has to support herself. I know she takes children in to babysit and I know that even if she is on public assistance, she is still doing this. I also know that our 20 year old son is helping out to pay some household expenses and he is currently making $30 an hour as a labourer. She is claiming that due to having to care for her dying sister, and child rearing, she is unable to work, has no skills or education and has been forced to rely on support from social aid. Her financial statement shows that she is on social aid but they clearly don't know that she is also babysitting and doing quite well with that financially. She says that she cannot babysit any more because she is so stressed and is caring for her sister. This is of course, complete lies and totally untrue. I just cannot prove it as she has manipulated our older son into lieing for her and I have no way to prove that she has this substantial excess income from babysitting.

My lawyer tells me that because she was a stay at home mom she gave up her career to raise the kids and as such, she apparently is due some long-term compensation for this. Compensation in the form of spousal support. He also tells me that to fight her in this would cost me more in the long run then actuallly paying her.

From reading many of the posts on this site and doing other research, I understand that I may be forced to pay spousal support, due to my calculations which I know may be wrong, in the amount of an extra $1000 per month on top of the $331 I am paying in child support. Am I close on correct with this? My lawyer and I are due to meet in a few weeks to discuss this matter but it seems he is leaning towards just paying up and moving forward. He says that because she has a legal aid lawyer and I don't, she can fight it and not incur any cost, whereas I will increasingly go broke paying lawyers fees.

It is very difficult living on the amount of money I make. I already live in a basement apartment, have no money for extras and struggle to get by just paying child support and supporting myself. I don't know how I will ever manage if I have to pay spousal support.

How can I do the calculations up myself so that I can get a grip on the numbers without having to wait for another three weeks to see my lawyer? Am I accurate in the amounts I have calculated above? I only fear it may be more. If it seems I am going to be forced to pay this amount no matter what then I feel like just going into see the lawyer and giving up. It costs too much to keep going with him and I don't want to get into debt fighting something which will eventually end up with the same result. There's no point in that.

Advice would be great right now.
  #2  
Old 03-11-2007, 10:11 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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sammysdad,

Welcome to the forum

Generally the big issue in your situation is spousal support.

With that said, it appears that the individual is entitled to bring forth a claim of such due to the facts of your situation.

However, "means and needs" is the decisive factor when a court will award same with first consideration to support of a child.


As you mentioned, the individual is "babysitting" earning a respectable amount in addition to receiving public aid. To me this suggests fraud in itself.

If it was me, I would hire a bonded private investigator who could video tape the evidence of the comings and goings of children to and from the household for a week or two. This demonstrates on the balance of probabilities that
  • they are capable to look after children notwithstanding their claim to the contrary;
  • if they are doing such service, they should be receiving a monetary amount for such, and;
  • the individuals credibility will be in question if the matter is litigated.
Once this evidence is obtained, present in on the other party. Get a feel for their stance at the point. I suspect they may drop their claim rather than risk exposing themselves to be fraudulent.

lv
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:10 PM
sammysdad sammysdad is offline
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Thank you for the advice. I will look into what you suggest. Today I have been informed by my wifes brother in law that she is now going out to babysit instead of at her home. I told him of your suggestion and he tells me that she has arranged this intentionally so that she can avoid being found out by public aid.

I will still look into meeting with an investigator to discuss the circumstances anyways. I'm sure they have ways of doing things like this.

If I am unsuccessful in my attempt to show her fraud, and I am ordered to pay alimony, what kind of numbers am I possibly looking at paying based on my salary? If anyone knows how to do these calculations could you possibly give me some range or idea.

I will post back when I have more information from the PI. I am going to try to meet with one sometime this week.
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:49 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Sammysdad,

What I mention is what I would do if I were in the same predicament.

You could still have a PI to document the individual’s comings and goings. You could also call the third party individuals as a witness under oath.

Think about this and how would it look:

Who goes to someone’s house Monday to Friday etc for 8 hours a day and especially the third party parents are documented and seen leaving to go to their respective employment and leave their children behind with your ex.

If anything it will also demonstrates a number of things:
  • their over exaggeration on their claim on their ability to provide such service considering they have an ill family member. i.e. unable to work at childcare.
  • credibility - individuals that over exaggerate their situation in an effort to solidify their stance and perhaps sympathy from others won't go over well.

Either way, once evidence is gathered, they will have some explaining to do.

No doubt the warm weather will be soon upon us and if she is indeed providing a child care service, I do suspect that they will go outside with the children.

Defrauding public aid is a criminal offence. It is a theft of taxpayer’s money.


lv
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:04 AM
GGG GGG is offline
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http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub...oject/toc.html

http://www.canadalegal.com/gosite.asp?s=4695
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