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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 03-19-2009, 12:37 PM
BGlovesCG BGlovesCG is offline
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Default Question re: my common-law hubby (his separation, divorce, CS, alimony)

I have been living with my partner for about 1.5 yrs. When I first met him I knew he wasn't divorced (they are separated because neither of them have the money for a divorce). We are coming into a little bit of money (not lots, just a few hundred dollars from my taxes) and so we plan to use it for the divorce (we were told that an uncontested divorce would be only approx. $500). However, we are now wondering if we should pay more to have it contested. Here are the details in point-form:

-they have been legally married since 2000 (so, 9 yrs), but separated since 2007.

-they have 3 children together (two are in first grade, and one is in kindergarten for half a day)

-she does not work. she hasn't worked since the children were born. Before that she was an RMT (massage therapist). All she would need to do is renew her license (for a fee) and she could start having clients again (they could even go to her house, so that way she could still stay at home with the one child in kindergarten who is home 1/2 day). however, she has still chosen not to work. We realize that while the children were all at home, all of the time, it wasn't a choice. But now, she is fully capable to get back to her prior career, but is choosing not to.

-my partner pays approx. $1200-$1400/month for child support and alimony. I have done the research and saw on the CS table that for 3 children with his salary, he is obligated to pay between $900-$1000/month in total). So how do we go about finding out how much alimony he would be required to pay?

-my partner is hoping to go back to school in September and to work part-time to better himself (get a better paying job for his kids, and to be able to be home evenings to spend more time with them. for now they live with their mom and they come visit us on the weekends, they stay over for one night). My partner will have his school fees covered by outside funding (so, he's not taking money away from the kids to pay), and will receive a monthly allowance of approx. $1200. He will then try to find a part-time job. Our monthly bills (car, rent, phone, gas, food, insurance)are approx. $2500 (and that doesn't include money set aside for clothing or the occasional car repair, etc). I bring home $2600/month but I have my own debts to pay (student loans, credit card, personal loan, etc), so my paycheque is all gone after I pay for my debts and my half of the rent, car, etc. After paying his ex and his half of the bills, my partner only has an extra hundred bucks or so to his name each month. His ex lives in the townhouse they once shared (3 bedroom). My partner and I live in a basement apartment (much smaller than her place). She just got a new car last year (I think her mom helped her out) and she also gets money from the government (I think you get a certain amount of money per child).

-oops, sorry, i forgot to keep using point-form. Anyways, his ex is also now living with someone else. They've been together longer than my partner and I. So, his ex has been living with her current partner, in common-law, for more than a year. He works (my partners' ex's current common-law hubby), but he also has 4 children that i think he still pays child support for.

I have a few questions:

-would it be wise to pay extra to get a lawyer to help us draw up an agreement? to me it seems too complicated to just try and do it ourselves. How much (approx.) does it cost to get a lawyer or mediator to help us make up an agreement?

-does the fact that I earn a decent living affect my partner? I bring h ome $2600./month, but I have tons of student loans to pay off, so I pay a lot each month for that and other debts

-i realize that my partner's ex is entitled to some alimony b/c of the 7yrs they were together and she stayed home, but how long would he be required to pay? she is now with someone else (living together for a year), and he works, so is there some clause that would make him not have to pay anymore if his ex is now with someone else, living together and paying expenses together?

-does it matter that my ex has taken stress leave from work and has a medical note from his doctor and psychotherapist stating that he is under too much stress (he endured abuse, neglect, etc, for his entire life growing up), and needed to take a month off from work to keep from doing anything drastic to himself. I believe I read somewhere that mental conditions are taken into consideration by a judge. My partner works himself very hard to try and support his kids. But his ex still chooses not to work (again, the kids are in school and she can easily work from home), and complains to him when he might have to give her a bit less (like once our car stopped working and we had to get it fixed so that he COULD go to work and make money).

-so, where do we go from here? I will be getting my extra money in late April and we'll be proceeding with a divorce in May.

-any help would be greatly appreciated. I know that I have asked way too many questions, and that we'll need legal assistance, but i thought i might find some helpful advice on here. Just knowing where to start (and if we have a case).

-one last thing, my partner's ex apparently cannot sell the townhouse because her mom has taken out a second mortgage on it or something. is that our problem now? Or would the judge consider the fact that she's living in a house that is too expensive (she is or was not too long ago, about to declare bankruptcy because collection agencies kept calling her).

thanks to those who were able to read this to the end, lol. I just want (and so does my ex) this to be over. To be written down and signed so we have something to work with.

**one last thing. One my partner starts school in September, we'll be taking the kids for 2 nights per week, instead of just the current 1 night per week. will that make child support a bit less? since we'll be purchasing food for them on weekends? I know it won't be a large difference, but was just wondering)**
  #2  
Old 03-19-2009, 02:06 PM
SNAFU SNAFU is offline
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OK here goes ... In a divorce the issues are Corollary Relief (aka Spousal Support [alimony] and Child Support), Division of Property, Custody and Access and Equalization Payment.

Child Support is pretty straight forward with the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The "magic number" is 60 percent (time spent with the kids). Any number greater than 60 percent entitles the person receiving the Support to the full table amount. Usually you will have to provide your last 3 years tax return. Your income won't be taken into account unless his ex goes for "Hardship" under the Guidelines.

It sounds like your boyfriend and his ex have a pretty good relationship. Try and keep it going. If you can agree on everything then it's a pretty straightforward process. Things can get ugly in a hurry though.

Getting a lawyer is a very expensive proposition unless you qualify for Legal Aid.

Google Family Law Rules and Family Law Forms.

Hope this helps a bit. Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:20 PM
BGlovesCG BGlovesCG is offline
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Thank you so much for your quick reply. This helps and gives us a place to start. yes my boyfriend and his ex have a good relationship.

I will google the things you suggested. Have a great day!
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:38 PM
SNAFU SNAFU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGlovesCG View Post
Thank you so much for your quick reply. This helps and gives us a place to start. yes my boyfriend and his ex have a good relationship.

I will google the things you suggested. Have a great day!
No problem. I should add that Spousal Support is one of the most contested issues in Family Law. The Judges are all over the place in making their awards. Usually for short term marriages (under 5 years) you will have to pay for a term of half the length of the marriage. One thing you should do is do up some sort of agreement on the amount that is paid. CRA will allow your boyfriend to deduct this amount from his income. His ex will have to claim it. They won't do anything without an Order or Agreement. Child Support is not deductible.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:00 PM
mominont mominont is offline
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what he is paying is probably very reasonable. I understand her not working is an issue.

However if she did work outside the house then she could request Section 7 funding which childcare for 3 children could put your BF financially in the same money bracket or have even less money.

Good Luck
mominont
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