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Old 03-13-2019, 09:34 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default Separate Parenting from Equalization?

Hi guys- sorry to be spamming the board so much lately. But things are starting to ramp up for me- and I'm trying to strategize the best way to deal with my matter moving forward.



Here's where we are:



1. OCL Final Report should be coming to us any day now- investigator said she was waiting for her supervisor to review the final draft and should be to us by mid march- so before Friday?



2. Monday- Ex's lawyer sent a letter saying equalization is a "modest $1000"- it is not. I've done the final calculation. It's actually 45-65K- depending on the legal argument on whether ex can subtract our first marital home from equalization [cliff notes version- I paid for the entirety of the wedding, which was to buy my equity into his condo- I have this in an email confirming it. Sort of long shot- but because I have this plan confirmed in writing (email)- I'm feeling okay about taking this court myself].





Ex's lawyer is rushing equalization because we both have a modest amount of funds sitting in trust from the sale of the matrimonial home. No surprise on the rush- he wants $$ to fight the report I'm guessing.



I have drafted a final parenting plan. I have drafted the motion documents for proper equalization.



To recap- equalization is ready to go (meaning ready to rumble/fight); parenting is not because we need to get final OCL report and review.





Questions:



1. Do we respond to equalization request now? Let it sit? It was not an offer to settle- just a letter asking for us to settle on consent. lol. No. But do we tell them that?



2. Do we serve final offers to settle both parenting plan and equalization at the same time?



3. Do we settle parenting stuff first? The strategy for this is that I know my ex is in debt (so am I- but to a lesser extent)- BUT I can weather increased legal fees better than him. He's not impecunious though- he can get through it. He's about 40K deep, but has another 50K line of credit he hasn't touched.



Things to consider- he's cheap. BUT he's also really into this fight against me.



I was more worried about the emotional toll on me from this "fight" for the last year. I'm not anymore.



I've let go of all material expectations from this fight. My bigger motivations are getting to a good/reasonable parenting plan for our daughter + getting a fair equalization because I do not want to set a precedent that I'll cave/settle/ be pushed around. BUT I also don't want to keep paying $$$$ in legal fees. I want to go on vacation goddamnit.



Thanks in advance.

Last edited by iona6656; 03-13-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:51 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
Ex's lawyer is rushing equalization because we both have a modest amount of funds sitting in trust from the sale of the matrimonial home. No surprise on the rush- he wants $$ to fight the report I'm guessing.
You guessed right. A judge is not going to release those funds probably until such time primary and most important issues are resolved: CUSTODY and ACCESS.

They do this because of the lack of funds to feed the legal teams makes people reasonable and settlements happen. The urgency to access those funds is quite common. Predictable like clockwork. Based on your previous posts. I am not surprised at all that you posted this now.

It is also "silly season" in family law. The busiest time of the year. Relationship breakdowns are common over the holidays. It usually takes to mid-March for everything to pop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
I have drafted a final parenting plan. I have drafted the motion documents for proper equalization.
Don't bring a motion for equalization if you don't agree to it. If they are trying to extract the funds to support the legal machine then make them do it. You have a better chance of defence on a reply and having costs awarded against them in my humble opinion. Their conduct will be transparent to a judge and right now... Judges are not dealing with nonsense and will order costs.

Pepper the other party with comprehensive offers to settle for access and custody. Sweeten the deal by compromising on something that isn't really that important to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
1. Do we respond to equalization request now? Let it sit? It was not an offer to settle- just a letter asking for us to settle on consent. lol. No. But do we tell them that?
Counter offer with custody, access and child support. Comprehensive offers that are severable.

If the matter goes before a judge they likely will want to deal with custody, access and child support first. You would be hard pressed to find any caselaw in CanLII where the judge starts off by doing equalization first then the rest in their decision.

So, even if you go to motion it will be pushed off to be determined at trial. You are so very close to trial too. Something to consider. Motions are really not worth the time if you are on the steps of a trial. Mostly motion judges will push them and reserve costs to be determined at trial too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
2. Do we serve final offers to settle both parenting plan and equalization at the same time?
Yes. Offers at this point should be:

1. Made so they are FINAL (not temporary)
2. Comprehensive
3. Severable
4. Made often and frequently

I like it when lawyers split up huge offers into "micro offers". The really good ones I have seen put "custody and access" together in one offer. It covers everything to do with those topics. They then do one just for "child support". That way if you have to go back on Form 15 (just child support application) it is contained in a micro FINAL agreement and narrowed to that very subject. The whole big old ugly settlement of the days of the past just allows for idiots to try and material change everything. Judges love when you separate the issues. Then, you do one for equalization.

Equalization is a one-time thing. Why clutter a "living document" such as Custody and Access and Child Support in one big master document.

I am applying the common software pattern of "micro-services" to how legal documents should be composed in 2019.

https://microservices.io/

Offers to settle should be:

1. Highly maintainable and testable (They should only contain elements that can be maintained and tested by a judge if they have to determine something against the agreement. For example, if you have an access dispute, they don't need to deal with CS, SS, Equalization. So why even clutter it all up with an EVERYTHING document.)

2. Loosely coupled (split into logical categories of "Custody and Access", "Child Support", "Spousal Support" and "Equalization")

3. Independently deployable (Need to adjust CS. Just use the CS settlement and don't drag in everything else. It clutters what a judge is being asked to decide on.)

4. Organized around the courts expectationss and expecations. (Custody and access -> Child Support -> Spousal Support -> Equalization)

Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
3. Do we settle parenting stuff first? The strategy for this is that I know my ex is in debt (so am I- but to a lesser extent)- BUT I can weather increased legal fees better than him. He's not impecunious though- he can get through it. He's about 40K deep, but has another 50K line of credit he hasn't touched.
See comments above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
Things to consider- he's cheap. BUT he's also really into this fight against me.
Cheap doesn't always mean that the person is smart. In fact, based on a review of your material I will again remind you that I think the other party to your matter is stupid. Stupidity will override being "cheap". Pennywise (cheap) pound foolish (stupid).

Good Luck!
Tayken
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