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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #11  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by billm View Post
Because the courts and lawyers are bad at math and reasoning, and just like the government and a lot of peoples attitude, who ever has more should pay more.

I agree that the setoff method is not reasonable.
How about we look at it from a totally different angle then? (Just pondering a position that one should consider prior to trying to "fight it out in court" to change the calculations...)

Assumption made:

The OP has 50-50 access and presumably joint custody in the matter.

This parent, is an equal and full joint parent with joint residency. This means that the OP equally does everything the other parent does, cares for, feeds, raises and is equally involved in the children's lives.

Yet, no one has identified possibly that not only do they do this they are the higher income earner. I know, the court will not give you a pat on the back for being able to do everything the other parent does but, as a fellow tax payer, I have to say, it is rather impressive that this parent, can do this.

So, I congratulate all the offset child support paying parents who not only do equally what the other parent does every day for the children, for which possibly these offset paying parents had to obtain a court order often to do equally and not just prove that they are an equal parent in those aspects of parent but, possibly a really great parent in that they are able to do all of that and have a successful career.

To any parent who gets offset support paid to them they shouldn't look at this as something the other parent "has to do" or that "they should have to pay" but, something that they are able to do. Something that they cannot do and they should really question why they are unable to before thinking they "won" anything by getting offset child support.

Something that they themselves, even though being "equal" in parenting, are unable to do themselves.

If someone wants to argue that they are "equal" parents when getting offset child support they really need to consider if they are truly "equal" in all aspects and not just in the routine care of the children.

A high income earning offset paying parent in shared parent is demonstrating to their children that they can be a parent and have a successful career. Something the court won't recognize but, something society does recognize.

Not only do you demonstrate to your children that you can do everything the other parent does to care for them but, you can earn a damn good income doing it all at the same time too.

One would question why you as an equal parent can do everything the other parent does and earn a higher income. Paying child support on the offset isn't a negative thing but, something that can be positively rewarding if you look at it from the proper perspective. You invested in your career, focused on continually improving your career and to the benefit of your family.

Your kids may not appreciate that now OP but, one day they will be adults and really respect this fact you did this for them probably.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rthombe View Post
Teyken -- re: costs incurred in fighting -- Hah! Yeah, no kidding. I talked to a lawyer about this, as my ex only works part-time and I wanted to have her salary imputed to a higher amount. But he pointed out that to have a good argument in court I would have to have an investigator search job postings and attempt to *prove* she ignored opportunities to work for more money, and in the end the difference in support wouldn't come close to paying for the investigator. Sigh.
Also, even if you win on "principal" I am doubtful that a court would order costs against the other party if you prove that the guidelines are biased, wrong or whatever. So you will probably have to eat your costs for "winning" which would probably amount to more than what you would pay in total for child support for both children are no longer children of the marriage by definition.

Long term versus short term objectives. Sounds like you had a very good lawyer involved in your matter.
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:16 PM
rthombe rthombe is offline
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Originally Posted by billm View Post
Because the courts and lawyers are bad at math and reasoning, and just like the government and a lot of peoples attitude, who ever has more should pay more.
This is my fear. I'm worried about walking into court, and after all my careful examples and formulas and arguments, the judge rips into me because I'm trying to be a deadbeat dad, without even answering one of my questions. And then seeing the smug smile on my ex as we exit the building.

Well, I will likely go ahead and file the application anyway, just to see if I can bring her to the table to hear me personally. She won't talk to me about it right now -- just ignores my emails and calls. It will be months before an actual court date -- so they tell me -- so maybe once she's served and forced to respond, she'll see I'm really suffering here.

Won't hold my breath, though.
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:43 PM
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then move to Quebec (and convince your ex to move to Quebec).

based on Quebec guidelines you would pay logical amount of CS and it is adjusted every year when you file your taxes, automatically... No BS... not unnecessary motions. Based on Quebec guidelines the amount of the child support is based on the income of both parents and the amount hey are supposed to contribute is determined in proportion of their income and number of days the child spends with each parent.

Every divorcing couple has to go to mediation, first 6 sessions are free and then the cost is determined based on income. I guess here is the answer to my question, why shared custody is more common in QC then in rest of Canada.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rthombe View Post
Well, I will likely go ahead and file the application anyway, just to see if I can bring her to the table to hear me personally. She won't talk to me about it right now -- just ignores my emails and calls. It will be months before an actual court date -- so they tell me -- so maybe once she's served and forced to respond, she'll see I'm really suffering here.
1. If you are "really suffering" you should seek therapy and not court to resolve your "suffering" problems.

2. You will lose and horribly and only get a costs award against you for attempting to use the court to "control" the other parent in the matter and "get what you want".

3. I do not recommend you file any application on what you are going to present an argument without at minimum discussing your matter with a qualified lawyer.

4. You can't use the court to improve parental communications and your attempt to do so and admission against interest on this very forum to do this is disturbing to say the least.

5. Move on with your life and seek financial counselling and theraputic for your "suffering". The public courts should not be used for what you are suggesting in the above quoted paragraph. You are clearly seeking vengence and to "be heard" and not solve a problem.

6. You are presenting an "emotional argument" really and trying to find "facts" to support your argument. This is rather transparent in your postings to say the least. You will be crushed in court not by the other party but, the justice hearing the matter.

7. If the other parent in this matter is reading this thread wondering if the poster is the other parent in their matter. This is why you should get an order from the court that there be no further motions without the leave of the court! You are about to be dragged into motion frenzy possibly and this is truly possibly the best example of "legal abuse" and an admission against interest to this pattern of behaviour of any poster I have seen contribute to this site since more resourceful days have past.

I implore you to really read your paragraph OP. I also encourage the more learned posters to not contribute as negative advocates to this posters admission against interest to drag a parent into court on such a matter and to recommend they seek "good advice" from a lawyer in the matter prior to seeking any vengeful remedy from a court to make the other parent "hear them personally" regarding this matter.

THIS IS NOT HOW THE COURTS SHOULD BE LEVERAGED AT ALL!

In support of my concern posted here regarding the OP I encourage everyone to again re-read this thread "When Helping Hurts":

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...tes-not-13976/

Good Luck!
Tayken
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rthombe View Post
Hi there. I've been struggling with this concept for some time and would love to hear others' opinions on the matter.

I currently have an agreement in place with my ex that follows standard Federal Guidelines. We have 2 children and 50/50 shared custody, and I earn quite a bit more than she does: the federal tables suggest my contribution to support is about $1100 and hers is about $400.

Now, with the standard offset, I'm paying her $700, and that's what I've been doing for years. I've been really struggling with my budget, living paycheque to paycheque, never having enough for unexpected expenses (dental, car repairs etc), no credit, and *never* any hope for any kind of savings.

It got me looking at the match of the offset method, and it just doesn't makes sense to me!

The federal tables are supposed to represent how much a person with a certain income *should* spend on child care, regardless of custody arrangements:

"The child support amounts in the tables reflect what parents living in the same province, with the same incomes and the same number of children would spend on their children." (About Child Support in Canada)

So of my $1100 that I should have earmarked for my kids, I'm giving $700 to my ex, leaving me with $400 to spend on them when they're with me. On the other hand, my ex has her $400 from her own income, plus my $700, so she gets $1100 to spend on them when they're with her!!

In other words, we've swapped roles ... she gets my table amount to spend on the kids, and I get her table amount. If I earn more, it does *nothing* to help my budget, as the set-off calculation always gives her whatever the tables say *I* should pay, and I'm stuck with only whatever she earns.

Whenever trying to talk to lawyers or counsellors all I get back is: "That's what the guidelines say, if you think it's unfair, take it to a judge." And that's what I'll do, I guess, but I'm afraid no-one will look at the actual *logic* of this, and just say: "Everyone uses the set-off method. That's what the guidelines say."

Please help me understand how the set-off method is fair, and if there's any hope in doing something more reasonable like, say, *splitting* the set-off amount, so we'd both end up with equal amounts to spend on the kids when they're at our homes. (In my case I'm suggesting I pay her $350 instead of $700, so we both end up with $750 to spend on the kids.)
Assuming your figures and facts are correct, your logic is undeniable.

However, we live on this planet Earth, in the country of Canada.

The Laws we adhere to, are not always (even often!) based on logic.

It is what it is, and you can either just accept it and do the right thing by it, or you can still do the right thing by it, and try to become involved in an effort to change it.

Maybe you should run for Municipal Office of some sort, and then work your way up to Federal Leader of whatever party you favour.

That's the only way you can affect change, aside from maybe some revolutionary ideas that would probably be deemed illegal.

So let's assume you're 100% correct.
Now, what are you going to do about it?

Last edited by wretchedotis; 01-24-2013 at 05:11 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:48 PM
rthombe rthombe is offline
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I think you missed the point again, Teyken. I have no intention of "using" the courts just to get her to talk -- if I'm forced to go to court it will be with every intention of winning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
1. If you are "really suffering" you should seek therapy and not court to resolve your "suffering" problems.
I meant financial suffering, obviously. Did you read my previous post outlining my income and expenses? I'm at rock bottom, waiting for financial disaster to happen. I *must* try to resolve this issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
2. You will lose and horribly and only get a costs award against you for attempting to use the court to "control" the other parent in the matter and "get what you want".
I hope I don't lose horribly -- if the judge has basic math and logic abilities, there should be *some* relief applied.

BTW, doesn't *everyone* go to court to "get what they want"? Isn't that the point? I want to be treated fairly, and I think that's a decent use of the courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
3. I do not recommend you file any application on what you are going to present an argument without at minimum discussing your matter with a qualified lawyer.
Good advice, and I did that. A few of them. They all thought it was a tough sell, but definitely worth the attempt. As I mentioned before, Section 9(a) does not mandate the set-off method, and judges have broad discretion to adjust the amounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
4. You can't use the court to improve parental communications and your attempt to do so and admission against interest on this very forum to do this is disturbing to say the least.
Actually, you can. If one parent refuses to address a real issue, the courts may be used to force mediation or other resolution. In fact, that may be what happens here. I'm considering applying for an order because:

1/ I feel I have *a chance* to win, and
2/ she refuses to acknowledge my complaint, never mind enter into a reasonable discussion about it.

What choice do I have? I even offered mediation, and she wouldn't respond to the request. When there is a complaint, and one side refuses to engage, it's time to file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
5. Move on with your life and seek financial counselling and theraputic for your "suffering". The public courts should not be used for what you are suggesting in the above quoted paragraph. You are clearly seeking vengence and to "be heard" and not solve a problem.
Something tweaked in your brain on this one, Tayken, sorry. As I mentioned above, my "suffering" is purely financial, this is a problem I *do* want solved -- by the courts if necessary -- and I have in no way indicated any sort of vengence was sought. I'm not trying to harm her in any way, I merely seek the reasonable and rational resolution where we get equal amounts to spend on the kids when they're in our care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
6. You are presenting an "emotional argument" really and trying to find "facts" to support your argument. This is rather transparent in your postings to say the least. You will be crushed in court not by the other party but, the justice hearing the matter.
We seem to have unearthed some sort of bias in you. Your statement is not in any way supported by things I've said.

The "fact" is: the offset method provides *far more* money for my ex to spend on the kids than for me. This was well supported by the calculations I shared in the post. There is no emotion here, only math.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
7. If the other parent in this matter is reading this thread wondering if the poster is the other parent in their matter.
I hope she does, so she can at least be presented with my side of the argument.

So far I haven't heard any solid reason why the setoff method is fair. If I lose in court, it will be because of the general predisposition against the higher income earner, not because there's anything wrong (or emotional!) about my argument. That said, if I go to court, it will be with the hope and expectation that logic and reason (and math) will prevail.

If, as a side effect, my filing gets my ex to talk, that would be lovely. But make no mistake, the *purpose* of filing is to get a court date and win.

This is obviously a hot-button topic for you, Teyken, but please try to dig a little deeper before jumping on your soapbox.
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:55 PM
rthombe rthombe is offline
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Originally Posted by wretchedotis View Post
Assuming your figures and facts are correct, your logic is undeniable.

...

So let's assume you're 100% correct.
Now, what are you going to do about it?
Yeah, this cuts to the real bones of the issue, doesn't it!

It's possible I will get nowhere with this. I *do* feel strongly that the setoff method is mathematically and logically flawed, but it's true that the only real remedy is to get the law changed. A daunting task, to be sure.

I wish I could take this to the Federal courts with the hope of appealing my way to the Supreme Court, and ultimately get the law re-written. That's the normal process, right? Sadly, I'm broke, and this process is not for the financially challenged!

So then what's the point? Well, under section 9 the judges *do* have discretion to alter the support amounts as they see fit. I can always hope for a favourable resolution to *my* situation, with the right judge. Then, perhaps it could be used as a talking point in future cases, hopefully catching the attention of someone with the resources to take it to the Supreme Court.

Not quite revolutionary, and I may be dreaming, but it's a thought.
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:01 PM
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I think you would do better by changing laws through politics, than through case-law.

Just my opinion.
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2013, 06:12 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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Originally Posted by Toutou View Post
then move to Quebec (and convince your ex to move to Quebec).

based on Quebec guidelines you would pay logical amount of CS and it is adjusted every year when you file your taxes, automatically... No BS... not unnecessary motions. Based on Quebec guidelines the amount of the child support is based on the income of both parents and the amount hey are supposed to contribute is determined in proportion of their income and number of days the child spends with each parent.

Every divorcing couple has to go to mediation, first 6 sessions are free and then the cost is determined based on income. I guess here is the answer to my question, why shared custody is more common in QC then in rest of Canada.
I have to say, I really only took about 10 min and read a bit about how child support is calculated in Quebec... it is calculated by DISPOSABLE income, instead of gross income... I am sure in Ontario adapted this method, things would be completely different...

But it does make sense... when one owns a home or even rents a home, there are certain fixed expenses... whether you have equal access or less access, you still have those same fixed costs. To assume a NCP has no fixed expenses is outrageous... it really does make sense the way Quebec does things, more calculations involved...but in the end it is fair.
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