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  #1  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:34 PM
Mikey Mikey is offline
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To introduce myself here after 2 years since my wife left me is perhaps too late for any advice.

I was totally ghosted. I had no idea. It has been very hard. I sure wish I would have looked for this forum earlier.

Even my lawyer had never even heard of such a bizarre case.
Maybe there is someone out there that this has happened to, and who can give me advice, in hindsight or not.

Curious? Well then read on.


I am Canadian and met my wife in Europe when I was 20 years old. When I went back to Canada, she soon followed. We eventually got married in Canada and she became a citizen. We bought a house and had a child together. As time went by, the house got paid off (as I had my prior savings) and our child grew up and eventually moved out. My wife was home most of the time, taking care of us. She worked a few jobs for a few years here and there but stayed home for most of the time. She took care of everything, especially our banking and financing. I had no idea how much money we had.

We were happily married for 40 years.

Or so I thought. ..

Like every morning, we kissed each other goodbye on this particular morning when I left for work.

When I came home that afternoon, her car was in the driveway as usual, but she was not home. I soon noticed that lots of things were missing. I tried to call my wife on her cell. Her phone number was no longer in service. I phoned a few friends and our child, but nobody had heard from her.
I called the police. They came over, and found no evidence of foul play and soon found a very short "dear John" letter. They recommended to change the locks and call the bank, cancel credit cards, etc. which I did.

I found out that she had taken all our savings (which was a lot of money) from the bank. I asked how that could be legal, but was informed that it was fully within the law as the accounts were joint.

After getting to speak to the bank manager, they eventually gave me a photocopy of a bank draft issued to a law firm. I spoke to the law firm who then informed me that my wife had filed for divorce and I need to retain my own legal representation.

I was at a loss. What had happened? Why divorce? Why now?
She had just disappeared. I tried to contact my inlaws and her relatives but they all refused to speak to me. Why?

6 weeks later I was served. There were several restraining order applications and an affidavit with incredible false accusations of violence and abuse, extramarital affairs and embezzlement of our money. I was in absolute shock. None of her claims were even remotely true.

I hired a lawyer, who said not to worry. He said that in Canada, those affidavits mean nothing as we have no-fault divorce, and our divorce was a simple case of asset division 50/50. Simple. It should be cleared up within a few months and will not need to go to court.

Except...my wife disappeared. I was stuck in the house. Due to the restraining order, I could not sell the house, not rent it out or profit in any way from the house as my wife was also on the title. I had to live there to maintain it and protect our asset. Having to live in the house filled with 40 years of memories became too much for me and I attempted to end my life. I was found by a neighbour and I was hospitalized.

Jumping ahead a few years, It is now settled. No, I never did have to go court. I never got any money back from our joint accounts. I just followed my lawyer's advice, the house was ordered to sell and I ended up with less than 20% of our total assets. The rest my wife got. She is now retired, and I still have not been able to contact her to get any explanation.

So I will leave you with these questions:

1. Has anyone experienced or even heard of anything similar?

2. Is there anything within the law that I could have done differently?


3. She got 50% of the house, 50% of my private and Canada pension and 50% of my income to spousal support. In total, it becomes 80/20. Why is it considered to be a 50/50 division when it became 80/20?

4. I bought the house with my own money from before the marriage, but she still got 50% of the sale proceeds. Why?
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:23 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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1. Yes. Usually the behaviour is perceived as abuse by one partner and the other partner thinks their behaviour is “normal”. Especially with abusive behaviour that seems not “as bad” to the offender such as controlling behaviour or constant insults, rather than the punching that the offender considers “real” abuse. The other alternative is she had a psychotic break with reality - however the symptoms usually become apparent to everyone around them after six months or year. YOU would have noticed psychotic behaviour and delusions well before she moved out. That no one sought to have her hospitalised and she is able to function normally seems to belie this explanation. It sounds like you are still processing the end of the relationship and you would probably benefit from therapy to help you get to a good place.

2. Nope

3. She got 50% of your joint assets. You got 50% of your joint assets. Seems fair and in accordance with the law. She got 50% of your joint future income and you got 50% of your joint future income. Seems fair too. Your future joint income is because you both invested time and money into that one income stream so it is fair to split it considering the length of the marriage and how close to retirement you both are.

4. Yes, the matrimonial home is treated differently and it was split according to the law.

Congrats on successfully transitioning out of the marriage without incurring huge lawyer bills and a protracted trial where you would have lost a lot more money (to your own lawyer and her lawyers). Your life is now yours to do with as you like.
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2019, 02:31 PM
Mikey Mikey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
1. Yes. Usually the behaviour is perceived as abuse by one partner and the other partner thinks their behaviour is “normal”. Especially with abusive behaviour that seems not “as bad” to the offender such as controlling behaviour or constant insults, rather than the punching that the offender considers “real” abuse. The other alternative is she had a psychotic break with reality - however the symptoms usually become apparent to everyone around them after six months or year. YOU would have noticed psychotic behaviour and delusions well before she moved out. That no one sought to have her hospitalised and she is able to function normally seems to belie this explanation. It sounds like you are still processing the end of the relationship and you would probably benefit from therapy to help you get to a good place.

2. Nope

3. She got 50% of your joint assets. You got 50% of your joint assets. Seems fair and in accordance with the law. She got 50% of your joint future income and you got 50% of your joint future income. Seems fair too. Your future joint income is because you both invested time and money into that one income stream so it is fair to split it considering the length of the marriage and how close to retirement you both are.

4. Yes, the matrimonial home is treated differently and it was split according to the law.

Congrats on successfully transitioning out of the marriage without incurring huge lawyer bills and a protracted trial where you would have lost a lot more money (to your own lawyer and her lawyers). Your life is now yours to do with as you like.
1. Based on your direct answer and you have been a member here for 10 years, I can only assume that you have lots of experience in this field, possibly a divorce lawyer?

As it is very difficult to condense 40 years of married life in a short post, I left much out. We had a normal marriage, without one person being in "control" and there was no abuse. If there was any form of control, it was my wife that had the control, especially with our finances. I trusted her. She was very loving and intelligent. There were no insults. Naturally, we had arguments and disagreements, but nothing abnormal or unusual. Her affidavit statements claimed that there was serious abuse, however, the language used was ambiguous and could be interpreted differently, depending on the reader. Most people, including my lawyer, interpreted her statement as allegations of physical abuse. He even questioned her during an examination for discovery, but then she changed her statement to "not physical" abuse.

As said, there were also accusations of adultery, where she claimed that I had several affairs with other women, which also was absolutely untrue. She also made allegations that she believed that I was about to sell our house, take all our money and leave the country. I still have no idea why she would make such false allegations.

Yes, I did notice a slow change in her psychological behaviour. She had certain odd paranoid traits. She also had escalating levels of OCD which interfered with her daily tasks. I suggested to her many times that she should talk to a doctor or similar, but she denied anything being wrong. Other family members also noticed her escalating odd behaviour. I also mentioned this behaviour to my lawyer and he basically laughed at me as he said that every disgruntled spouse in a marriage break-up claims the other spouse as mentally disturbed, and any judge would dismiss such claims.

3. She did not get 50% of our joint assets. I never got a penny back from the saving she took. She ended up getting more than 80% and I ended up with less than 20%.
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:40 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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If she was suffering from delusions and refusing treatment then paying more than 50% of your assets right to her (rather than both of you paying 100% to lawyers) is an excellent deal for you. You have NO IDEA how much damage a severely mentally ill spouse can do to your life (personal, professional and financial) leaving you with no legal recourse. You got off lightly.

This may not have been the life you envisioned, but this is now a life you have full control of. Enjoy what you have won - freedom.
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2019, 07:05 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
3. She got 50% of the house, 50% of my private and Canada pension and 50% of my income to spousal support. In total, it becomes 80/20. Why is it considered to be a 50/50 division when it became 80/20?
You'll have to explain the math on how you arrive at an 80/20 split. 50% of everything sounds like 50%

Quote:
4. I bought the house with my own money from before the marriage, but she still got 50% of the sale proceeds. Why?
A quirk of Canadian family law. The matrimonial home is split 50% no matter what. It is incredibly unfair, but it is the law.

More importantly, if you have already settled, why are you bothering to get upset about it now? It isn't like you are going to be able to change any of it.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2019, 07:19 PM
Mikey Mikey is offline
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50/50 would only be if it was calculated after it was all added to one amount. As each individual asset was worth a different amount each, and you do individual 50% splits, as spousal support is based on gross earnings, CPP is divided after lumped together, etc, my private RRSP's were mine only, the total is not 50/50
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:07 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
She took care of everything, especially our banking and financing. I had no idea how much money we had.
Biggest mistake you made—not being informed of your assets. I don’t care who the person is to you, never give full control away and not check in from time to time.

Quote:
1. Has anyone experienced or even heard of anything similar?
I had a family member get taken worse than you. His ex cheated on him while on a family vacation. When confronted, she filed for divorce and then emptied their personal and business accounts, racked up tens of thousands on credit cards and other credit. He went bankrupt, lost his savings, his house, his business, his cars/boat/toys, lost all his credit and then had to pay spousal and child support. He was left with literally nothing but his clothes and some household belongings.

Quote:
Is there anything within the law that I could have done differently?

No. You never should have given her control of your life. She was also obviously unhappy for some reason. No one spends 40 years with a person and then just ups and leaves. There was much more planning which means it started years earlier. Whether you choose to admit it or not, something in the marriage was unhealthy and she started putting in place her exit plan. The fact your kid wouldn’t tell you anything speaks volumes.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:01 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
50/50 would only be if it was calculated after it was all added to one amount. As each individual asset was worth a different amount each, and you do individual 50% splits, as spousal support is based on gross earnings, CPP is divided after lumped together, etc, my private RRSP's were mine only, the total is not 50/50
Honestly, I am really curious as to how you figure you ended up with 20% of the assets. Make up some numbers if you must, but walk us through your calculations.

Currently, what you are saying doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:14 AM
Mikey Mikey is offline
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Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Honestly, I am really curious as to how you figure you ended up with 20% of the assets. Make up some numbers if you must, but walk us through your calculations.

Currently, what you are saying doesn't make sense.
She never gave back any of the savings, which was a lot. We sold the house and I ended up with only 10% proceeds from the house as I had to pay maximum spousal support because of the long marriage and that I’m close to retirement age. So all in, she ended up getting 80% of our assets. I can’t really explain it any better than that.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:39 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
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She never gave back any of the savings, which was a lot. We sold the house and I ended up with only 10% proceeds from the house as I had to pay maximum spousal support because of the long marriage and that I’m close to retirement age. So all in, she ended up getting 80% of our assets. I can’t really explain it any better than that.
so you did get 50% in equalization. You just used part of your 50% to pay for the spousal support. Two different things in my opinion. You paid one of your bills out of your share of the money.
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