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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 09-23-2009, 01:25 PM
james james is offline
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Default Do I have to pay spouse support?

Hi:
I am 45 years old and have been married for 28 years. We have two children 23 and 28. I'll always be grateful for the time I had with my kids while they were growing up. That was the good part; the rest of the marriage has been ups and downs. Now that the kids are raised there is not reason for us to stay together. We have separated rooms. I am equally responsible for the unhappiness because I had an affair years ago and she has gambling problems and we don’t have any money and we have a lot of debts. We have jobs but I earned more than her, but we barely pay our debts every moth. We are thinking also to declare bankrupt. I can’t afford to rent my own place, we talk about separation and she threats me about spousal support, I had no idea that I have to pay spousal support. I don't know where to start. Thanks in advance for any advice. Please help

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:22 PM
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FL_Needs_To_Change FL_Needs_To_Change is offline
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If you have both worked for the majority of the relationship or if she has worked the better part of the end of the relationship the courts may rule for support but not as high as it would be if she never worked. With extensive work history you can establish her ability to be self supportive.

Perhaps suggest a temporary support order to help her get back on her feet to be independent (if you make significantly more then she does). Insist that there be a time frame pt on any order for support and have the support calculated to show both partners are capable of independently supporting each other that way the amount set would not be so high.

There are several case laws on couples that both worked and the lower earner was granted a temporary support order generally its 5 or less years. This is incentive for the other party to either upgrade or seek better employment or adjust their living to be within their means.

I'm not too proficient on this as I have never sought spousal support or had to personally deal with it. There are members here that could offer their experiences though.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:56 PM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
she threats me about spousal support, I had no idea that I have to pay spousal support.
I'm 59 and we were married 10 years; I left because of abuse. I did not work and he retired a couple years ago. My lawyer said the "Rule of 65" will apply. Since my age at divorce plus years marriage equal 69 (or more than 65) that spousal support could be indefinite or possibly reduced when I reach the age for CPP or old age pension.

I'm uncertain if we are allowed to post links here, but the Canadian Department of Justice site explains the "Rule of 65" in detail.

I don't know if you could prove her gambling was the reason for your financial problems if that would make a difference in the settlement. Your lawyer would know that - but I doubt it since adultery and abuse are the only "with cause" reasons for divorce.

Sorry you're going through this.

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Old 09-24-2009, 09:51 AM
james james is offline
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Yes, I have documents to prove her gambling, she spend thousands of dollars and that is why we almost ready to declare bankrupt. But if we separated, We have a lot of debts, she compromised to pay all her own debts from gambling and the house, cause she earned less than me, even she have to get a second job to be able to pay, her parents are helping her out to pay some money and I'm paying the rest of the debts(cars, insurances, cells, loans, line of credit, etc) plus my own, I don’t have the money to even pay my own apartment and I wont have the money for spousal support. When she told me about spousal support, then I don’t know how that will be possible, the other way is continuing living together and is not a healthy situation. I don’t know it is true or not but a few friends told me that a cause for a separation or divorce, gambling is also another cause like adultery and abuse. Help for some advice. Thanks
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:06 AM
Stargate Stargate is offline
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If she has worked during the marriage (even part-time) then it is highly unlikely you will have to pay spousal support which is intended only for those who never worked during the marriage or are truly unemployable.

Unfortunately if you divorce you will be responsible for 1/2 of her debt. All assets and debts acquired during the marriage are shared/divided between the parties upon divorce.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:06 PM
representingself representingself is offline
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I found this link for you for the Federal Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.... I think it would be very helpful in your situation

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/fcy-...f/SSAG_eng.pdf
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:30 AM
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Have a friend who recently went through this and the general rule is that if you have been married for over 20 years then spousal support will be "indefinite" which means probably forever. they base it on the difference between your incomes so that you both have "equal" amounts of money. This leaves many people without enough to live on separately, especially the higher income earner if they have higher working expenses. When the courts are through with you, one of you may be awarded all the court costs probably the higher income earner (usually the man) and in many cases they also stick on retroactive amounts if the case took too long in the courts. My friend was forced into bankruptcy when the arrears and costs were awarded since this immediately triggers the involvement of the FRO and garnishees. He was saddled with such high payments that he had a nervous breakdown and has been on disability ever since. Despite this the arrears keep adding up. He lives in a room and has lost everything. His wife is living in a nice home, works part time and runs her own business, all funded by spousal support. She will get this forever, and he has no hope of ever getting back on his feet since when they separated the equalization forced him to pay pension payout and legal costs too. He can't afford to live and work on what he has left. If there is any way that you can stay together it would be easier than going through what I watched this poor guy go through. See it on google - it was featured in the STAR. "Devastated by divorce" A true story, and all too frequently happening these days. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:15 AM
Stargate Stargate is offline
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Not only are the CS Guidelines SEVERELY flawed and almost invariable towards the man but the SS guidelines are a joke! The SS support guidelines were intended for those spouses (mostly women) that are unemployable and have little to no chance of obtaining a job, and NOT for the money hungry cows that bilk their ex husbands for more money so they can spend their time at home painting their toe nails and talking on the phone all day while their ex husbands lose everything, including their sanity and are hounded by the government thugs (FRO) because they simply cannot meet their obligations for BOTH CS & SS!! It's no wonder why some resort to absconding with their kids out of the country to a country where there's no chance for extradition back to Canada. What is more criminal I ask?!
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:36 AM
catchison catchison is offline
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Default Not all is unfair

I agree that the spousal support guidelines are flawed. They encourage people to manipulate the system to set up a cash for life from an unsuspecting spouse. Many spouses so damaged by this will commit suicide, give up by quitting jobs, flee the country and worse.
Please do what you can by objecting through the MPP and Mr Chris Bentley Minister of Justice. They are the ones who need to make some changes. Putting breadwinners in jail is a no win solution, and the taxpayors foot the bill. On the other hand there are some situations where a helping hand to a dependent spouse, especially raising children is to be expected and demanded in our society. However never to the point of having legal costs, arrears, and ongoing payments so onerous that the breadwinner is forced into bankruptcy. Whom does this serve - only the lawyers. Child support is another matter. If you have children they should be supported - if anything those amounts are low in my view so we don't agree on that one. I get really tired of hearing about why parents don't think they should have to pay to help raise their own children Sorry.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:49 AM
Stargate Stargate is offline
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No one is disputing that payments need to be made to support one's children but they ARE severely flawed as they are based NOT on the needs of the children but on the income of the payor which has NOTHING to do with the needs of the children, whose needs are different when they are in diapers to when they are 16. Today's CS Guidelines have a built-in SS element at least for higher income earners. I know of three separate cases where the woman receives child support for 3 children and she stays at home doing nothing while bilking someone else out of a living! This IS unjust, unfair and underlines what IS a severely flawed and biased system.
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