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

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  #11  
Old 11-04-2012, 11:49 AM
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More thoughts, and I hope I have recapped your facts accurately:

She was abused by her step-father long before you ever met and married her.

This didn't stop her from becoming university educated and having a 25-year career that earned 75k a year by the time your marriage ended.

When the marriage ended in 2010, you were earning 200k.

You share the kids, and pay her offset child support, as well as spousal support. How did she get entitled to spousal support in the first place? 75k is a perfectly good income to support oneself one. What was the logic used that won over the judge?

In 2011, she stopped working, claiming PTSD from the historical abuse. Her income was imputed to 20k for the child support offset.

In 2012, she went back to school to train for a new career, supported by government programs and your spousal support.

All along, she has been volunteering extensively and running her own business that makes little income on the books. She also takes numerous vacations. (While I see the point that taking so many vacations is not the sign of someone being frugal, the judge might just see it as jealousy/bitterness on your part.)

The separation agreement indicates she is to find work, and while you send her all the job posting you encounter, she ignores you. (This might come across to a judge as controlling behaviour on your part. You might want to stop. You want to prove there are jobs out there, sure, but you don't need to prove she's aware of them to demonstrate she isn't trying.)

Your questions are vague, however, and you don't provide enough information. You present your situation in such a way that we are obviously supposed to agree with you that she's a freeloader. What are you after, exactly? Is there an end date for spousal support in your agreement? Are you hoping to go back to court to get one? Do you want her income imputed to 75k instead of 20k? Do you have upcoming court dates you want to prepare for, or are you intending to reopen the agreement?

I think you need to go back to your agreement and figure out what set her up with spousal support in the first place. Then see if those circumstances have changed. And sufficient time having elapsed for them to have changed as intended but not having done so qualifies. Was she supposed to be supported by you temporarily until she found a job? When and why did she lose her job in the first place? Then you can argue that she isn't making reasonable efforts to find a job and spousal support should end because she's had sufficient time. Or you can argue that her reason for not being able to work due to PTSD isn't valid because of her evident ability to volunteer extensively and her choice to retrain for a career where PTSD could be a liability. This shows that she is simply not making reasonable efforts to uphold her part of the agreement.

So that's the spousal support half tackled. You're also not happy about the child support or section 7 proportion? Would having the spousal support eliminated make you feel better about the rest? Or do you still want her imputed to 75k even if she only ends up making 35k? How old are the kids, and how long would child support last?

Last edited by Rioe; 11-04-2012 at 11:53 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-04-2012, 01:50 PM
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I would recommend sticking closely to the facts. It has been my personal experience in dealing with SS that recent, relevant income is used in calculating things. Anything over 3 yrs is likely not too relevant.

Your ex going to school will be viewed favorably. If your ex is only in her 40's then re-training would be considered a good thing. She could get a degree in social work and not necessarily work "front line" as there are many different careers requiring a MSW for research positions. Be prepared for her to respond in that manner if questioned. It doesn't make sense for someone who is soon to be divorced to spend time and money at school only to take a position that pays almost half of what they were making before. I therefore think that your "perception" should be adjusted here. You certainly do not know for certain, what her plans are in the future. Keep in mind that SS decisions are based on FACTS and not suppositions. Your SS should be calculated on difference in income over past 3 - 4 yrs. Did you have a different calculation method? What is the formula?
  #13  
Old 11-04-2012, 04:34 PM
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Ok, we both are 50 years old, two kids 16 and 14. I earn about $150k in salary and work overtime during the extra the week I don't have the kids to earn an addition $50k in annual bonus.

My ex got into spiritualism in a big way, it consumed her so she was fired from a very good job for doing this research and emailing friends on company time. She was fired in April 2007 and decided to start her own business. By that time, I was making more so she didn't have to work that hard. My preference was her to make it successful however, the same problem of spending all her time on spiritualism stuff. No man today can tell his wife what to do, work or not work so this was her choice and i had to live with it. So, we called it quits in June 2009, and negotiated a settlement with a mediator and we each had our own legal council. So we divided all the assets sold the house and we live in different houses close to each other for the kids.

Child support is calculated from the tables and I pay spousal support as well until December 2018. I think the arrangement is fair but she is now asking for the upper end of SSAG because of the tramatic event and that she wants to retrain even though we had agreement that she would start work again in march 2010. She has stayed home and didnt look for work. I have not found a case similar to mine on CanLii. It feels like I have to pay for the step fathers crime if I lose the case. We are now obviously in court.

Because she is not working I'm overpaying child support and section 7 because she can make $70 to $80k. So I would like a reduction in support paid, by imputing income in that range versus $20k. Are their cases that have been successful in imputing income. The twist is the sex assault 35 years ago, but I think if she can't work, she should seek compensation from the step father versus me.


I'm looking for a case that shows the education plan is unreasonable, earning half of what you are capable of seems unreasonable, but is the math proof enough? Also, I did research on PTSD and social workers and there is a high chance of reoccurance, is the articles from the PHDs enough or do I need to bring an expert to court? This new profession seems unreasonable. I also contacted the local community college and she could take the course part time in the evening. The catch is that she has to give up the $8000 government grant because she can work and pay the expense herself.

I have a brief from her lawyer that outlines her plan, so she quit sales and is working to complete her social work class by 2013 sometime.

Thanks
  #14  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:05 PM
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An extra week's work to make an additional 50K? Surely this must be a typo and you mean to say you make an extra 50K for the "weeks" you don't have the kids? Your kids are past an age where they require babysitting so I don't see the relevance.

You split the marital assets and you now should be filing for divorce. The amount of SS you currently pay should be calculated on the average income you earned, less hers, for the 3 yrs leading up the to separation. If there was no "incentive" for her to become self sufficient, by way of a graduated imputed income, then you had a very poor separation agreement. You separated when you were in your 40s and at the time of separation your wife would likely not have qualified under the "rule of 65" for indefinite spousal support. You say that your agreement has you paying SS until 2018. That's approximately 10 yrs of SS along with equalization payment (half of marital property). I'd say she did rather well for someone who wasn't in a particularly long-term relationship and who doesn't meet the threshold for "rule of 65" indefinite SS.

In order to change the SS you would likely have to show a change of circumstances. The burden of proof rests with you. Even if you come up with proof she is likely to counter that with her current psychological issues. It's pretty easy to get medical certificates stating one can't work. I know it's ridiculous but you better accept it.

Is there a possible way you could come up with some money and offer her a cash settlement to end the SS?

Failing that I would move forward with the divorce. Have your lawyer review the existing SS arrangement and request it be reduced to more accurately reflect the current situation. It sounds as though your ex is set up comfortably and reduction in SS won't throw here into abject poverty.

Her previous university education is out-dated. It sounds as though she has a poor work history. She also sounds to be a bit of a "whack job." I wouldn't necessarily focus on her short-comings as it might be her best defense for validity why she cannot work.

In summary, I'd offer a cash settlement to end SS. Failing that push for the divorce and have SS term shortened.

Last edited by arabian; 11-04-2012 at 05:18 PM.
  #15  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:17 PM
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Arabian, you are correct, I work every other week long hours to make the extra $50k. She is a very capable person and not a wack job as you say. We get along and the kids are doing great so that is the most important thing for me.

She sells to large corporations like Telus from her small business, she can get products made in china and shipped directly here so she has considerable skills if she applys herself.

I will speak to my lawyer about the SS calculation, perhaps it can be reduced in amount and/or duration or a one time payment, which probably means it is not tax deductible. There doesn't seem to be motivation for self-sufficiency.

Thanks for the helpful advice.
  #16  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:27 PM
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It's pretty difficult to motivate someone who is hell bent on not working. It is more difficult to motivate someone to work if they are in a very comfortable situation and who can survive quite well without extra income. Some people also like to receive SS to somehow stay in touch with their ex, like a security blanket. SS can also work both ways as it gives the payor a sense of control over what the recipient does with their life. Lump sum settlement severs the ties of dependency. While you will always have your children in your life, and if they go on to post secondary school you will be paying dearly for that, your relationship with your ex will probably become less entwined.

Good luck. I am pleased to hear you get along well with your ex and that you have a good relationship with your children.
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