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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 08-27-2011, 02:03 PM
ddol1 ddol1 is offline
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Default The time has arrived - the hard issues of money and keeping the lights on.

So I have an issue which I would like ideas (the "correct" way of leaving the kids out of it - completely)

I have gone real slow with her as I do realize that today she is bringing in the income and her income keeps this family barely going. Ok i admited i am slow in sinking in but it just doesn't matter - what matters is today going forward....

So there is no joint money left. incomes are split - bills continue to pile. My name is the principle owner of all tthe utilities - I have top level credit rating and I will not loose this (I figure it will be required to do whatever financing I will need after the divorce concidering my limited CPP disability income). I already spent a couple of days a few weeks past staring at my first bill that was overdue with less than $100 in the account. I paid that bill, the two next and I did the right thing by claiming my interest in the remaining few hundred on the 20th when her pay (by automatic electronic transfer every 14 days) was not deposited on the 18th.

Recently I heard suggestions of, cutting the tv satillite back (which I did last year) putting a long distance stop on the phone (we do have a 1500 min a month plan for $5 and we never come close) and a few others that make sense to limit exposure to expenses and each of those options will impact the kids - something I would like to avoid. This is not their fault. and ?????

Enter STBX who last week took into her personal control ALL the money including the RESP accounts (so I can only hope there that it remains the kids as no matter how hard our situation got we never touched the kid's money, the tuition money which was for tuition - never). The STBX didn't bother to come home last night - this after I told her that taking the kids school money was the last straw and she needed to 1 - repay the 1,184.27 from the tuition portion that I paid (1/2 the amount) and she needed to find A DIFFERENT PLACE TO SLEEP. The money I can live with - the sleeping in the same room, same bed - never again. Told her yesterday that she needed to come up with solutions to move forward instead of complaining and the desperate manovering that she has been doing for the last few months.

SHe arrived last night at 4:15 am - things got real heated (I kept my cool, i did not get close to "passing the line to which I would be in great trouble" there is a tad more but it doesn't matter - what does is moving forward for the next how long????? It takes how long to get to the end of this - I do not even now what to call the @%$%^$$%# of seperation!!

STBX first proposal - I with I f
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:33 PM
ddol1 ddol1 is offline
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Sorry - hit send by accident! Takes me a long time to type so here is part two finally! FYI everybody - got my call for the surgery they hope will help my hands and fingers.....end of October! (after waiting for 2+ years for a particular specialist who can do this surgery they figure is best for me)

STBX proposal of moving forward is - in her mind based on our ratio of income today - is (with 20% me, 80% her after tax income) well pay the past due bill she left on the table - the next one that came in yesterday, $175 for the tax bill on Monday and half of I am not sure. I have my thoughts which may or may not be in line with reality - but there is no way I will keep up 50/50 - I trust that in the end based on our 24 year marriage and my CPP disability there "should" be some spousal support. Which by the way my wife actually understood that there is a table for child support and another for the guidelines of Spousal Support (sorry I think that is just CS and SS) but either way the amount that the table puts out - she says that is too much and she won't pay it - her lawyer advice was repeated in that there is no entitlement - so there will be no support anyway and if the table amount is actually used she will not pay it..........

So there should be a logical way of coming to a self inflicted interm agreement that will not force me to shut off a few utilities because I just do not have the cash for it - I must also assume at this point that she may or may not choose to cut me off her work benefit plan that will be a whole new set of issues based on the cost (say $500 a month extra alone). I have read alot of CANL11 cases and there are plenty of final judge mandated deals put into force but not much info on what about before..... heck the appointmet for the lawyer (I did agree to see the local divorce specialist here in the city) I see this firm on the 14th for the initial consult but even so I was told by the lawyer i have sat with earlier that it can take months and months to even have the first (I am sorry the terminoligy of the various steps is or remains something I must still learn) but the do anything will take a long time too.

Sorry - a lot of typing some ideas but any thing that real people that have done real agreements that doesn't see me shutting down utilities? I will add that yesterday afternoon I spoke with 5 of my "utilities" and they have made notations in the file - one has allowed my name to be dropped leaving my wife sole responsable - the others all have different ways of doing it but if stbx does not agree the only real long term option i have is not a very good option - everyone will loose - including the kids...... Ideas to negotiate with my STBX who is not really negotiating anything up to this point - plays by her rules and leaves me to figure them out when I can????
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:01 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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ddol1:

First things first...do you have a lawyer or are you planning to self-rep? Whichever the case, have you filed yet?

The reason I ask is pretty simple. I'm not sure you understand the timeline involved here. Bottom line, once you file...even in a mediated situation, it can take a couple/few (in my case, contested divorce...6 months) to even get a case conference.

Whatever financial trouble, you're in...you're most likely not going to get an interim agreement in any time to allow you to settle current utility bills, as they don't go very long anymore without cutting you off.

As you've stated that you're living in the same house (is it in both of your names?), my suggestion is to make a list of bills and work out with her BY EMAIL..not verbally...who is going to pay what. I assume she needs to have electric/gas/water too..and so do your children..so if you can't afford to pay these things...she's going to have to work with you to get it done.

To this:

Quote:
SHe arrived last night at 4:15 am - things got real heated (I kept my cool, i did not get close to "passing the line to which I would be in great trouble" there is a tad more but it doesn't matter - what does is moving forward for the next how long?????
You need to cut this stuff out..totally unacceptable and not smart on your part at all. Bottom line, you're definition of 'keeping your cool' may be completely different from hers. You need to stop having any unnecessary verbal confrontations with her whatsoever. I can count the number of verbal sentences my stbx and I have have exchanged on one hand since separation. Almost all communication is done by email...which protects me, provides a record, and can be re-read and checked before sending. I would highly advise you to use straightforward, clear, polite, neutral email going forward.

Also why are you asking her about plans moving forward? She's probably about as knowledgeable about the divorce process as you are and would only give an answer that would advantage her anyway. Why on earth would you ask her that? You need to figure that out on your own. Seek legal advice. Work out the details of what you can afford, parenting arrangents, etc. If necessary...ie, regarding the marital home...you can email her to advise her on what your intention would be...ie, to sell, her to keep, you to keep.

Otherwise, bottom line...stop engaging her...you should be immediately doing the following:

1) Getting a separate bank account. Keep records of the date you opened it and the balance since you'll have to answer that later. Start depositing your funds into that account. Keep records of all bills you pay out of that account.
2) Email her a list of what you will/won't be paying based on what you can afford. The remainder you'll have to ask her to pay.
3) Start a file folder of receipts, statements, income tax forms, investment information (especially old balances), relevant emails, etc..make copies and remove all that documentation from the home into a safe place.
4) Concerning custody, email her a proposed temp schedule with the kids and start keeping a daily calendar with any proof documentation showing where the kids were...with whom.
5) Figure out what you're doing legally..ie, lawyer or self-rep and FILE. If you want an interim agreement, in a contested divorce (which it sounds like you're headed for) you may be a year away from that or more...so don't think you're going to hire a lawyer and suddenly get an agreement in place.

You need to stop being so emotionally involved and freaking out....as is how your posts come across. Slow down, go through the steps...stop doing stupid stuff like engaging your stbx and involving your children unnecessarily. Be smart, be methodical and do not involve yourself in details that don't matter....ie, what time she comes home at night. You are getting divorced and at this point, need to buck up and take care of you business.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:26 PM
ddol1 ddol1 is offline
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pursuinghappiness - thank so very much on filling in some holes. I can add more later but the most pressing item is to "get the legal process going" For me I will have to have a lawyer as it goes along as i know i do not have the physical stamina to self represent. I have been looking for the right lawyer and I fear that may take too long. Mees did say it right when he said you need to find and sit in front a few lawyer candidates before you chose your representation. I will end up spending a ton of money and it must be "spent carefully with every penny getting you to the final outcome - your divorce".

I have sat in front of the same lawyer a few times - not sure if he is the right one but he has advised me up to now. He is the only one that actually admitted that he has dealt with my type of issues in the past and he has kept current on current case law that affects my issues. This appears to be the "right one" until he said a few things that did not rub well - one was to just leave the house now (largely to my medical issues and our not doing it right engaging each other). Huge changes now to have zero engagement and to follow your suggestion to only do email even if we are sitting in the same room. I am going to start this today.

Direct to the point: Is the very first application really important for wording as it then sets the tone of the "process" or is it a simple document that is really not that hard to do if i learn which form and what has to be put on it? In otherwords is the application something i can do before i chose the lawyer after i get to find a second or third to at least sit down with? I think it is important but the last twenty i contacted, in the last two or three weeks, right of the bat "stepped down" for several valid reasons. I really feel in my gut that getting that application in is way past due and every day it is not is a wasted day. It has to be done yesterday - do you agree from what you understand of the process???
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:57 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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Quote:
....- one was to just leave the house now (largely to my medical issues and our not doing it right engaging each other).
Cardinal rule #1: Unless you're being beaten about the head with a cast iron frying pan, NEVER leave the marital home. And if you are getting beaten with a frying pan, take the kids, call the cops, make a record, and head to a shelter.

If a lawyer is telling you to abandon your marital home, quickly (ie, today) find another lawyer.

Quote:
Huge changes now to have zero engagement and to follow your suggestion to only do email even if we are sitting in the same room.
Unless you're living in a one room trailer, DON'T sit in the same room. Get up and leave...you're inviting conflict. Sometimes, people will file false reports or trump up situations to get an advantage. You must start realizing that you need to SEPARATE. Its not just a legal word...its one you need to put into real practice. I have lived in the same home with my stbx for well over a year in separation and we never sit in the same room. I'm not sure how many times I have to say this to you...you don't seem to be getting it...stop all contact unless by email unless its very necessary and to the point, then get out of there. Stop being near her in the house, stop talking, stop talking about her or the divorce to the kids...PERIOD. Find a friend or family member out of the house to vent to when you're alone without the kids around...when you vent, don't do it from your home phone or from your house.

Quote:
really feel in my gut that getting that application in is way past due and every day it is not is a wasted day.
I'm not sure how many lawyers you're going to shop through...but if you're trying to get an interim agreement of some kind, you need to file...let me say this again, you are a long time away from getting any financial help.

Quote:
Is the very first application really important for wording as it then sets the tone of the "process" or is it a simple document that is really not that hard to do if i learn which form and what has to be put on it?
Every court document you do that is part of the continuing record is important. These are sworn documents that will be referenced and used going forward. You can be sworn and questioned on everything you put on these documents. There are some records that are not on the continuing record, like case conference documentation, but on your original filing...yes, everything you put on there is important. You will prepare a financial statement...you will state what you want (housing, equalization, support, custody) and give the reason you're requesting a divorce....you will make a listing of the issues/reasons that you have with your spouse. Your lawyer should have a meeting with you to discuss your issues and help you draft this document in order to illuminate the issues going forward. My lawyer concentrated on "actionable items"...things that had relevance to custody and finances...my stbx's attorney put a bunch of salacious, irrelevant, unproveable, inconsistent, non-factual items on his. Needless to say, things are going much easier for me. Keep it simple, keep it true, keep to actionable items and most importantly get moving.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:06 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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And by the way, regarding sending email.

This also can be brought into court. So don't communicate even be email unless necessary.

When you send email...it should have a specific topic or question and be brief, polite and to the point. Do not argue, get rude, bring up legal manuevers, etc.

Never reveal your hand or anything to do with your divorce when you communicate from now on. You seem like the type of person that has trouble with hanging on and thinking irrelevant things are important. Think of it like one of those zombie movies...this woman has been bitten and is no longer your wife. Don't think about how she feels, or what she says, or what she's doing, or what she's doing with her lawyer, or what she says to the kids....concentrate solely on YOU...your actions. You really really need to work on being completely impartial and practicing non-engagement if you want to be successful in court going forward.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:10 PM
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thank you again - your words are my bible from in on out....... yes I did get alot of things wrong - what living seper=erated meant in real terms.... even the elawyer didn't say the things or evven hinted on them as far as what are the RULES I must play by....... It may sound off but today i spent refocusing straightening out the folders and papers as it was the main reason I have been well not getting things done as fast as i wanted - the last couple of weeks have not be really "good" either but i still work at it.

I admit that perhaps i didn't ask the right questions - I admit I am really alone here I never had many friends and my one true friend passed away a few years back (I found out months later when I tried to get in touch afterr moving here. As far as some - no I will give it all, you know me pretty good. I admit that my personality held on to the "good" part of that person and I never would have dreamed - I always play fair, even in this what is now - you got it right.

I would just let you know that the physical avoidance has been practiced for maybe a month now and I know it is I who never enters the room she is in - unless it is say (to get my pills in the cabinet and leave. My stbx returns at 4:45 M-F if i am in the livingroom at 4 I pack up and move it to the garage. I typically stay there untill she goes to bed 7,8, 9 pm? She will enter if i am sitting with my daughter and i did remain a few times "watching the show with my daughter" but now it will be me excusing myself and asking if we could do it later....

when it comes to things like supper - she doesn't really do it since I had to stop doing it at the urging of my doctor. She has maybe done one meal a week, maybe two for the kids for maybe a year or two now. I help my daughter when she decides to do it but other wise it is feed yourself and I eat after everyone else has left. So I have done some of the disengagement now I must get it right and do the last of it as you spelled it out in plain nothing left for granted English If nobody previously spelled it out..... You spelled it out very loud and VERY clear. I can't thank you enough - and I am sorry to think I am so stupid in this "anything but a game" process. Stupid and ignorant of how to protect myself, my rights and the rest ot it. I am not so ignorant anymore.

You are spelling out the people part, in an earlier post, Mees got me going and on track with the "technical" side with ending all joint everything regarding money and after what happened today at the bank - he saved me from losing over $10,000 - just say the bank made a big screwup after confirming just last Friday that the last joint account that bills were paid from, which was a zero balance - and with a confirmed NO overdraft possability just to find out before I wrote this that they allowed her to put an overdraft on it yesterdday! I made sure this was not possible and it has been brought up with Senior Management an hour ago. Under the circumstance of our marital breakup which is recorded in our profile plus our branch is one of the small close knit country style branches where we all know each other. My profile and hers as well should be noted of our marital breakup. She should not have been granted her request as per bank policy - tomorrow I will be absolved from any financial responsability of the current overdraft amount.

I hold all the paperwork back to in some cases 1980. The bank manager at my branch made a huge extra effort in getting bank records back to 1997. By law they have to keep 7 years but my manager knew how to work the system going back what 14 years. I have enough to build the rest of the financial history to the date of mariage - important for me to show where my disability and injury award payments went and that the intent was to set it aside for retirement. I have worked really hard on the financials without any help as she just left it for me to do (including weeks it seems of looking in every,corner, box, bag from one corner to the other) it and now it is locked in my car trunk organized in four of those plastic file "boxes" in various folders with the keys in my control for the last few weeks. Not all of it is copies - alot is still originals, it will be a job but it will get done. The most important stuff has been hidden and out of her reach since the beginning. As soon as i make the copies I have an offsite place to park it now.

The last big move i made was the removing of my name, and responsability of everyone of our bills - a few did it on the spot after hearing the story - the rest I told her she had 24 hours to contact the remaining - I did hear that each one had already set it up for the transfer even Bell! who is the hardest of them all. I told her twice now that i wait for her to table a plan of how and what share these bills will be paid from now on - I am not running from my responsabilities but you will no longer hold them "like a noose over my head". And yes, stbx in a predictable style managed to include the kids and for the first time I said not one word, not even a glance....... I am learaning.

I shall close this with, I appreciate your input and perspective of a woman who does get it- is getting it done and what goes on truely crosses gender - in the end we are people helping people - thank you!
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:21 PM
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sorry - I forgot. Tonight i got her personal email (not our joint one from bell that i stopped using six months ago) and later i shall table my "proposal" to get the bills paid which will have to be by the ratio of our incomes as I really can't do much better than that long term - heck even short term but the things like the car and house insurance i am going to pay outright to ensure it truely is paid on time. I can't get caught without the insurance.

No - I think I am going to ask her one last official time for her to table it. I respect the fact that she stills brings in the majority of family income, perhaps if she does table it there may be a slim chance she follows it this time.......
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:46 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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ddol1:

Thank you for the praise but do be careful. This forum gives excellent advice and suggestions on many things...but divorces are specific to your set of circumstances and things like location. My advice is just advice based on my situation and understanding..but I'm also learning as I go...so I'm not sure if there are better ways to approach things.

I would maybe read some websites and books...they're are some really quick websites that you can google that will walk you through what the process is like and give you the blank forms so you'll understand what information you need to fill out. Sometimes it can save you time and hence, money, at the lawyers office if you fill some of the stuff out in advance.

I am sure however about what I said about living separately. I've had many friends and acquaintences who've told me about the simplest discussions being trumped up to near violence, police being called, and a person having to defend themselves against false charges so that a person gains an advantage in court. Its a really difficult thing for everyone involved to live in the same house during separation so it should be a priority to get an agreement so you can get out of there as soon as possible once you get a lawyer. It can take a lot of time, so you have to get into the right habits now.

You're doing the right thing to send her an email with the list of bills showing what you will pay. Keep a saved folder of your emails and her responses. If she doesn't comply to a clear, fair, itemized list of bills....that will definitely come up later...the rule in separation is that things should stay status quo...ie. the way the kids and family was living before, they should still be living until a divorce is resolved upon. Your initial documentation will include a pro-forma regarding her not disposing of assets...that's why you need to file a.s.a.p. You really need to get a separation date established on paper.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:26 AM
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I think the real advice I have recieved here is really "the beginners" stuff that maybe perhaps I should have known or figured out on my own. I really have come a long way since the time, well, i will just say the beginning. I have been reading, gathering, organizing finding out unbelievable things and I think for the first time in almost 25 years I am solely going to benefit from my personal efforts.

I just have to make it though this. I just have to remember no more engaging the zombie wife. There really is a light way down at the other end of the tunnel - just have to get there. I will. I am just glad that my three children, in three months time, will all be over 18 so there will not be any horrid custody issues. Just noticed it is tomorrow - so have a great day!

Sorry to stretch this thred out one more time and it may be a real stupid thought. I just re-read the thread beginning to end and there may be something that I that may not be cluing into - you mention no venting from the house or your home phone. I realize that most or many couples are home at the same time, out of the house at the same time and phone conversations can be overheard (I actually take my calls in the garage - but would I know if the stbx picks up a line?). But just in case: I am on disability and am home most of the time with everyone else out of the house. Should i not be trusting the phone anymore - like i should/must have one of those things called (yuck) - a cell phone for the divorce related stuff? I don't know why it hit me but the idea of phone bugging (the human ear and hardware bugging device) entered my head right at that time - Paranioa?
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