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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 02-21-2011, 12:38 PM
andagain andagain is offline
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Question X running up lawyer fees for me and she is recently unemployed

Hi there; I am new here and have a few questions I was hoping to get some help with..

I have been divorced for 10 years and originally my X and I split custody. As we couldn't come to an agreement I agreed to pay her $200 a month for support, basically because it would drag out and my legal bills were already draining me. Also, I was remarried and my new wife's salary combined with mine gave us enough so that the $200 didn't hurt too much and it was manageable as compared to the legal costs. We also split extra curriculars 50-50. Everything money wise was fine for the last 10 years as I paid regularly and she really had nothing to complain about.

She has not dated since the divorce and is really bitter, angry, unhappy etc. Her bitterness and negative comments about my wife and I drove my, now 14 year old son, out of her house and he came to live with me full time 2 years ago. For the first year we didn't ask for any support other than 50% of the extra curricular activities, school uniforms..etc. It didn't amount to much at all.

After a year and costs for my son increasing due to clothes becoming more expensive, grocery bills going up, hockey equipment now having to be adult sizes, etc. I requested she give me some support ($150 per month) just to offset these costs and she outright refused. We ended up having to call our lawyer and she ended up having to pay us the Guideline amount. As I said she is bitter and stubborn and it always comes back to bite her.

OK, so she has recently been laid off or fired from her job. I'm guessing laid off (unless she did something really bad, I can't see her being fired and I doubt she would do anything like that). She was laid of Feburary 10th. I am assuming she would get 2 weeks severance and paid out for any vacation (I also believe she had stock with the company as an employee benefit - which I don't know what happens with that in the event of a lay off). When we didn't receive her child support cheque on the 15th as per usual I called her. She then informed me she was laid off and she had called her lawyer to inform my lawyer that I wouldn't be getting paid. I told he she could have called directly and she didn't have to call the lawyer. She then said she would rather keep it through the lawyers.

Soooo.. my questions are this.

1. I don't want to keep going through my lawyer for things like this when I am more than willing to discuss them with her. If she had called we could have worked something out. Now, I will probably get billed for this by my lawyer. Can I ask her lawyer send me things directly and only consult my lawyer if need be?? This would have been so simple.

2. Would she still have to pay me for February (if it was a lay off with severance) since she pretty much would have got paid for the month of February. I wouldn't push this, but we had no idea she was laid off and just paid $600 for my Son's summer hockey. Not to mention we will be dinged by my lawyer I'm sure.

3. If she works temp jobs (which she has in the past) can I ask for paystubs to show how much she is making?

4. If she goes on UI does she have to pay CS? I don't want to drain her but my Son has told me when he saw her last she said she was taking some time off to deal with the sale of her Mother's house (they moved her Mother to a retirement home). Plus, its my understanding through mutual friends that she is getting money periodically from her mom from the sale of the house. (Not an inheritance)..

ANY help anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Old 02-21-2011, 01:14 PM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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Typically she'd pay table amounts based on her prior year's income tax return (line 150).

Until she shows proof (ie. EI statements) then she's still expected to pay. She can't arbitrarily stop paying her support. She SHOULD be requesting you allow her to reduce support based on whatever her EI is going to be.

She should be going one of two ways with it:

1. Negotiating with you to reduce CS immediately based on her new (EI) income.

2. Waiting until it's time to recalculate the table amounts (ie. when her layoff will be dropping her line 150) and then pay the reduced amount for that year.

If she refuses to provide you with her new income, file with FRO (I assume you have an actual court order that forced her to pay support) OR file a motion with the court to have her imputed an income based on what she's capable of making.
Old 02-21-2011, 08:39 PM
frustrated11 frustrated11 is offline
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file the order/seperation agreement with FRO where it state what she is tp pay right away and let them know she is getting EI so that they can send the deduction to them. She should've let you know before so that you could budget for your son.
Old 02-22-2011, 10:03 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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  1. I've been through this endlessly with my ex. Get this through your head: If she won't come to the table ready and willing to negotiate then you cannot talk it out with her. Period. Has she changed as a human being? Is she willing to talk? Why should you be calling her to make these suggestions and offer these deal? The onus is on her to put together a package showing proof of income, what her budget is, what she can afford and making a fair and reasoned offer. It isn't up to you to do her homework for her.
  2. She still has to pay you the table amount, period. February and ongoing. The child support is based on yearly income, not monthly. It is based on what she is expected to be able to earn, not what what may have happened over a temporary period. The onus is on her to get employed at the same salary level. If she absolutely can't, her solution is not to do nothing, her solution is to show that she has made attempts, there is no work at that level available, and that instead she has found a reasonable (similar job, similar skill level etc) permanent employment and done her best. Then and only then you cut her a deal.
  3. You do not ask for paystubs, she should be volunteering them. If she can show she is making the effort, then it's up to her to put together the information and offer you an alternative arrangement.
  4. She has to continue paying if she is on UI, she has to continue paying if she has no income at all. She is capable of earning a certain level of income. If she takes a part time job at minimum wage too bad, she still has to pay according to what she is capable of earning.
All of this comes across as harsh, but first of all every father who pays support has to play by these same rules. This is the law and the system has a process built in if she can't find work at the same pay level, but the responsibility is hers to show it and prove it and make a reasonable offer. The responsibility is not yours to bend over backwards and figure everything out for her.

In your situation you are concerned about what you might pay for a lawyer, well don't go to a lawyer to figure out solutions and options for her. She should be doing all of this and making you an offer. If she backs it up with facts and a plan, then you have the option of agreeing or telling her to take out a bank loan to pay support until she gets a job.
Old 02-22-2011, 07:23 PM
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Mess has such excellent advice!!!! What do you think, I say take the advice and run with it.
Old 02-22-2011, 09:27 PM
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child support, lawyer fees, unemployment

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