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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 04-30-2010, 12:04 PM
noblefather noblefather is offline
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Default Spousal Support - agreement to a minimum term

I'm reaching out to seek some sound sage objective advice on how to proceed with finalizing my separation agreement. I've been trying to finalize my separation agreement with ex-wife finalized since October 2009 outside of court, however after every mutually agreeable arrangement that has occurred via mediation (at least 5 meetings took place where we discussed all topics and changes), the changes are drafted, she sits on the deal for months and then she changes her mind and refuses to sign or says her lawyer won't sign it. This has happened twice now since Oct 2009.

The facts:
Married 16 years 2 children 14 and 16
Payer - $ 150 K
Receiver - $ 30 K
Custody – 50/50 shared
Child Support – correct table amount $ 1500 per month - $ 1300 child support per month with a balloon payment based on my bonus
Spousal Support – indefinite i.e. no term specified at $ 1 K per month (based on the fact she cohabitates and she will not pay income tax for at least 6 years – she has a significant tax accrual from her part time business plus I took additional debt of $ 18K)

In Dec 09 I signed the above agreement having met with my lawyer. In late Jan ‘10 I was provided her lawyers name to send the signed paperwork to. In March ’10 I was advised that her lawyer wants some slight adjustments (she was supposed to send it to her lawyer prior to me signing in Dec 10 – I do not know if this ever happened). I’ve been patiently waiting for the verbiage adjustments which I’m fine with. Now just this past week I am now presented with an updated offer. It as follows.

$ 1K spousal support for a minimum of 8 years
$ 1500 per month child support – no balloon payment. I expect that this will put me in an overpayment situation on an annual basis

If I don't agree she's taking me to court. I still owe her an addtional approx $ 9K re net family property of which she is demanding immediately (I've already given additional cash from the house sale and other amounts) plus RRSP which I cannot split till the agreement is finalised. The additional $ 18K of debt will go away if I go to court but I'd be paying more in spousal support if I go to court.

I'm concerned by agreeing to minimum term of 8 years that I've waiving all my rights of material change. .


1. What are my chances of going to court and paying the full amount of support (highly likely is my guess)
2. Will the judge take into account that she doesn't pay income tax and the accrual that she has ?
3. Given that she is cohabitating 60 days after our separation along with my children and his, how will this appear in front of a judge ?
4. Will they take into account her living arrangements ?
5. How likely could I reduce the amount of spousal support or eliminate it based on remarriage or cohabitation after 3 years based on the length of the marriage?
6. How will her procrastination be viewed ?
7. What counter proposals would you suggest, e.g. self sufficiency within a certain period of time (she works part time), reviews etc
8. If I sign her proposal, am I completely giving up everything for the next 8 years ? I believe so.

While this is a personal decision I must make. I guess all I can do at this time is ask her to provide me with her changes and then duke it out with our lawyers or I do just cave. I'm just so wound up over the constant changes I am loosing objectivity and can’t see my way out.

I’m curious to ask you what would you do in this situation ? My current thought process is to not provide any further funds to her, and waste more time with lawyers but at what point in time do I just throw my hands into the air and say let’s go to court. Fundamentally the issue for me is spousal support for me and that regardless of her future, any material change, change in my salary she remarries or makes more money she expects still to be paid regardless.

Any suggestions ? Again I’m seeking sound objective sage advice, not emotional responses please.

Thanks
  #2  
Old 04-30-2010, 12:38 PM
singledad99 singledad99 is offline
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Default

If she takes you to court she will most likely win a much higher amount than $1k per month and for much longer period than 8 years. Do your math using the following rough formula:

Child support:

Table amount for 2 children @$150K (-) table amount for 2 children @ $30K

*You can both pay each other full table amounts or you can pay the net payable to her. Just make sure you document the method in the agreement. You should start paying this amount even if you don't have an agreement yet. Just make sure you pay her through verifiable means and keep the CS payments separate from any other payments.

Spousal support:

[$150K - CS by father based on $150K - ($30K - CS by mother on $30K)] = income difference

income difference x 1.5%* x 16* = yearly support for 16 years to indefinite period

*The range is 1% to 2% as per guidelines for every 1/2 year to full year of duration of marriage depending on length of marriage (and need for support)
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