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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 03-12-2016, 10:21 AM
joehobo joehobo is offline
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Default Should/could I eliminate SS?

Marriage was 19 years, she was 40 when we separated, and was earning ~23K PT then. She has roughly doubled her salary, and I earn roughly 3x that. I will be retiring in about 4 years.

Its been about 1 year since CS+SS support payments began, and she went straight from PT job to FT and is now earning about median for her profession. Her PT work during the marriage does not seem to have impeded her career in anyway. She also has a BF that I believe is living in her house (I don't know for sure if hes there 100% of the time though). She got a substantial cash settlement (she bought her new house outright, whereas I kept the marital home and have a mtg now). Unfortunately the separation agreement is not 100% clear on how SS portion would be varied in the case of a rise in salary (CS portion is cut and dried).

So, on the surface I think I have reasons to eliminate it. Is there a minimum period before spousal support payments can be reviewed?

Assuming this is something we agree on... do we need to go thru lawyers? There is no FRO involved now... we are extremely amicable at this point (im a bit concerned discussing this will blow it up).
I just xfer her combined CS+SS support to her savings account bi-weekly, we comfortably share all S7 expenses (no bickering involved... we just keep it roughly even).

JH
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:25 AM
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arabian arabian is offline
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NOT going through lawyers has likely left you in your current situation where you have an agreement where no review period of quantum of spousal support is specified (example: 3 years... or 5 years).

Unless your agreement specifies that remarriage/re-partnering constitutes a material change of circumstances, it matters not who she lives with.

Your retirement would constitute as a material change of circumstance where SS could be re-visited.

You refer to a "lump sum" - was that for SS?
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:44 PM
joehobo joehobo is offline
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The separation agreement was in place before she departed and the support payments began. We each had lawyers to review it.

No it wasn't a lump sum in lieu of SS.. it was just she needed more cash/capital to not have a mtg (one of her must-haves)... we balanced it to give her more capital because she was younger... whereas I have kept more retirement funds.

There is a clause that specifies the support payments can be reviewed if she co-habs > 90 days or remarries or I retire. The problem with this one is she may claim that he's only stopping over a couple of nights and not living there. I'm not sure if she will take this stance... but it would be pretty easy to do so, leaving the burden on me to prove that.

Is the increase in her salary not a material change in circumstances?
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:05 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Perhaps. Do you have a specified date for review of quantum specified or requirement to exchange financials yearly?

Does your agreement specify which is for compensatory SS? (your lawyer might be able to advise you on this if you don't know).

How was the SS calculated - based on SSAG or was it just a number the two of you came up with?

I assume that the "lump sum" was therefore part of matrimonial property and asset equalization.

Does your SS have a specific end date?

A material change in circumstances is one which, if known at the time, would likely have resulted in different terms to the existing order. So you have to ask yourself if the two of you agreed she was going to eventually go back to full-time employment - was that contemplated at any time? This is extremely important and something a judge would look closely at.

Last edited by arabian; 03-12-2016 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:30 PM
joehobo joehobo is offline
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Hi Arabian,

Yes we are req'd to exchange financials ( notices of assessment ) yearly. The combined SS+CS amount is clearly stated to be based on my FT salary and her PT salary (exact amounts quoted in the doc).

There is no specificity on any compensatory reasons for SS, we did vary from the SSAG guidelines, as I took on a number of items that would normal be a shared expense (full university costs, orthodonture, yearly day camps, all med/dental expenses etc), and the SS is being considered blended with CS from an income tax perspective (I'm not claiming the SS on my income). This is stated in the agreement as the reason for variance.

That is a good point about if her change in salary was contemplated. It was to an extent. The support amount was developed based on her being able to manage all her household budget based on a FT minimum wage job (the "worst case"). She has exceeded this handily.

There is a specific termination date for all support to coincide with the youngest child becoming 22 (or Not a child of marriage, or 18 not in FT school).

All this considered.... from a legal perspective, maybe I can only really hang my hat on the co-hab clause. The other wording on SS is not clear enough IMO.. it would probably lead to an expensive "discussion" between lawyers. Maybe if I'm lucky they will get hitched and that will seal the deal lol!
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