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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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Old 04-07-2006, 03:24 PM
baileybug baileybug is offline
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Default Timing and parenting plans

My husband just suddenly called me up and said he's signed some divorce papers and someone will be contacting me.

We have been separated for a few years, but have no legal separation filed, or parenting plan for our young son.

He also informed me he is getting married in 2 months and having a baby with his fiance 3 months after that!

How long does it generally take a divorce to go through? I'm thinking he's cutting it pretty close.

Also, can it proceed without a parenting plan in place?

We've also not really formalized child support either. For the past few years he's been doing some number crunching with respects to his paying for daycare, then claiming our son on his taxes. Then whatever's left over from that he gives me in a lump sum once a year. What I'm wondering though, is how that's going to work when my son no longer needs daycare? My husband makes a lot more money than I do.

I've also heard that if I don't do anything after receiving the divorce papers, it will just go through uncontested? How long do they wait? In this case, would they want me to sign to say yes so that it would go through faster?

My husband has also recommended we just both use his lawyer for the divorce.

Any advice?
Old 04-07-2006, 04:00 PM
applepie applepie is offline
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Hi BaileyBug. I found a faq online that might answer a few questions. It looks like an uncontested divorce could take anywhere between a few months to longer depending on the case and the judge.
Old 04-07-2006, 04:06 PM
Decent Dad Decent Dad is offline
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woooh... slow down...

Okay, there are some process questions and some advice-type questions.

Technically you can be divorced. And technically you only need a one piece of paper signed by both of you stating that everything is cool custody and support wise. You don't need a big separation agreement or anything. If you don't respond (I think in 30 or 60 days) it goes through anyway.

You can also contest the divorce. Stating you have outstanding issues: custody, access, support. And then the fun begins. Look forward to 2-3 years of trials, etc.

The reason you get things in writing is two reasons: 1) you do not trust your ex and 2) you don't work well together. Since you have been separated for a long time, you must have some sort of custody arrangement and access schedule? Yes? No? You really haven't explained the current situation very well for me to get a handle on it. It is up to you what you want in writing (agreements).

There seems to be some things happening in the shadows here. Lump sum payments? You didn't know about the baby?? Again I don't have a clear picture of this.

Technically you could use his lawyer. Technically you don't need any lawyers. But this whole thing comes across as weird.

Things that would help this:

- what is the defacto custody arrangement
- what is the defacto access arrangement
- how have you been handling holidays, father's day, mother's day, birthdays
- have you both been nice regarding vacation, events, etc
- have you both been nice in general

Maybe you should formalize the support. I assume you have split the assets?

I think it takes 30 days to finalize the divorce, but I can't recall off the top of my head.
Old 04-07-2006, 04:15 PM
sasha1 sasha1 is offline
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First, don't sign anything without checking with your OWN lawyer. If your ex intends to be fair and reasonable, he'll want you to make educated decisions about what you're signing. Could be that he's suggesting his lawyer just to expedite the process, etc, and completely on the up and up, but the situation is rather suspect. Better safe than sorry, and contacting a lawyer is not akin to ringing the bell for the first round; just means you both have equivalent seats at the arena.

The divorce papers you get served will detail how long you have to contest it, but I would think you'd be looking at 30 days at least. He is cutting it very close, and may not be able to marry in two monthes, depending on many things, including what province you reside in. While you're waiting on the papers to arrive, start putting your own information together.. all the financial details of what's happened since you and he separated (in terms of what he's paid to the daycare, etc.) as well as your income information and tax returns, and his as well, if you have that. Also, if there have been any other expenses, such as medical, dental, etc. related to the child. Get your monthly expenses organized as well, and a list of all your assets and liabilities. Any property owned jointly between you and your ex? Have details of any of that together as well. Once the papers arrive, you can take them to a lawyer, who will detail for you the specifics of the agreement, and make sure everything relevant is addressed, as well as tell you what you are entitled to, etc.

If you get the papers and are in agreement with everything he wants, yes, the process will be a lot easier and less time-consuming for you both, but if you are not comfortable with the arrangement he has in mind, say so. That doesn't mean you'll wind up in a nasty battle for the next several years; there are lots of ways to compromise, and since your ex has a lawyer, he will know that it's not uncommon to have a few difficulties to iron out. I get the feeling he's trying to overwhelm you with the timing of all of this, in the hope that you will simply 'sign now and regret later'. Don't do it; if you're not in agreement with his terms, or you're unsure and need more time, don't let him bully you into signing quickly and quietly. Your child has rights, it's your obligation to protect them, and it's not your fault your ex is now working against the clock. Realistically, the world will not come to a crashing end if he isn't able to marry his new partner before the birth of the baby.

I gather the child lives with you? Do you and your ex share parenting equally? Depending on the amount of his 'lump-sum' payments and the daycare costs, as well as both of your incomes, I'm thinking that you may have been getting shorted on child support. Generally, the parents each contribute to daycare costs, proportionate to their respective incomes, in addition to a monthly child support amount.

Last edited by sasha1; 04-07-2006 at 04:26 PM.
Old 04-07-2006, 08:00 PM
Chopper Chopper is offline
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Default Get your own lawyer

I side with Sasha.
Get your own lawyer and do your homework and get a good one.
You may regret what you sign today in the future.

Old 04-11-2006, 11:15 AM
baileybug baileybug is offline
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Default divorce and parenting plan

Thanks for all the words of advice. We currently have a 50/50 custody/residential situation that was agreed upon by both of us. That was in the days before his new girlfriend and before he became completely uncommunicative.

Today I was served with the papers. In it he mentions we have shared custody. It also states that a parenting plan "is in progress". He also attached a very old Interim Separation Agreement that was specific to the summer we first separated and I took my child out of the country for vacation. It talks about specific dates, and also a bit about dividing our cash assets. However I don't remember ever recieving the full amount it states on it. I also never got some of the physical assets listed on it. There is no mention of Child support in it.

-Should the divorce papers have mentioned child support? He makes a lot more than I do. Last year he gave me a lump sum based on the child support tables minus my share of day care costs, but the previous two years I recieved nothing.

-Should it have mentioned more in the way of a custody agreement?

-should our parenting plan be in place before I let this go through? I'm concerned he will just keep putting it off, (as he has already drafted one that is not well done, but that he likes) as he will already have his divorce in hand?

-Is it worth it to get a lawyer to contest the divorce based on these issues, or can my lawyer go to his lawyer to negotiate these items so that it can go through? Or should I just try to approach him?

Old 04-11-2006, 01:37 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Bailey bug,

I would definitely ensure you are indeed receiving the table amount of child support for the children to reflect an up to date financial statement.

Before a Judge will issue a certificate, he has an onus to ensure that chilldren of the marriage is supported in a reasonable way such as guidline amount.

I would definitely see a lawyer, but also request your ex to serve and file an updated financial statement into the continuing record.
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