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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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  #1  
Old 04-16-2012, 08:15 PM
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Margaret-Krupa Margaret-Krupa is offline
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Question Separation Agreement - is this one acceptable?

Hello Everyone,
I am looking for advice and/or comments from anyone who feels that he/she can help me here. My first reaction to this letter was ... I was stunned and speechless and am considering simply not replying by the date that the lawyer is asking for. But then again I am considering sending her a simple letter saying that I will NOT be able to respond by the deadline (she only gives me LESS than TWO weeks to respond!) Please note my previous posts and take into account that my older son, Conrad, has been struggling in high school since 2010 and has been seen for over a year by a psychiatrist to get help for depression. He is now struggling with alcohol/weed abuse and attending high school for adults on a part-time basis. He also works at Wendy's approximately 10 hours a week.
Also, please note that I am ill and my ONLY income is LTD from the government of Canada and private insurance. I received a letter from my husband's lawyer today which is also a Separation Agreement (as it seems to me). The letter is one and a half pages long and the Separation Agreement part is as follows:

"Mr. "K" is hoping that you will be able to resolve all those issues amicably by way of a Separation Agreement. The following are the proposed terms that should be incorporated into the Agreement:
CHILDREN
1. I understand that Conrad is no longer in school and supporting himself, while Alexander is completing High School and planning on going to College this fall. Apparently his choice is to reside with you. Mr. K. will certainly pay child support for |Alexander until he finishes school and, as I undertand, ther is an RESP in place that will cover the education expenses. I enclose a copy of my client's T-4 for 2011 for which shows a gross income of $33,554.87. Bases on that amount, the child supoprt payable for one child is $287.00 per month. The support will commence after the sale of matrimonial home.
2. There would be an exchange of income information by the end of June each year and the support would be adjusted based on the current income information.
3. Since your incomes are more or less equal, there will be a mutual final release of spousal support.
4. Since the sale of your matrimonial home is scheduled to close on July 2, 2012, the net proceeds of sale, after having paid the mortgage, line of credit and costs of sale, will be divided equally between the two of you.
5. your husband will keep the 2002 Honda and tools, while you will have a choice of most of the furniture an contents of the home.
6. Each of you will be responsible for your individual debts, if any. I understand that M.r K. has an outstanding balance on his credit card in the amount of approx. $2,000.
Please review this proposal with your lawyer and have him or her contact my office on or before April 30, 2012. Please note that if I do not hear from you or your lawyer by 4:00 p.m. on April 30th, 2012 Mr. K. will have to consider commencing a Court Application. We hope that will not be necessary."

I really thank each one of you who is willing to give me his/her input in this case.
Margaret

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:26 PM
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Well unless you give us more information (your side of things) I'd say the letter sounds quite reasonable and straightforward. How old is your son? It seems to me that you are literate, can type well and should have no problem putting something together in the new few weeks.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:45 PM
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How is he affording a lawyer on his salary? How old is eldest son? 10 hrs a week at Wendy's hardly implies he is self-sufficient. Are there any costs associated with the counseling your son is getting?
Has your ex's income historically been under 35k per year?

It would be best to avoid Court if at all possible. If you each have equal debts and can split the assets down the middle - would be good to consider settling. I didn't know lawyers gave drop-dead dates like that, as a rule. What is YOUR gut feeling about the proposed offer? What (if anything) would you accept about it - or not accept? Finally, if you were to propose an offer to him - what would that offer include, point by point? Jot this down as an "exercise" and just be really honest with yourself. See what you come up with.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Well unless you give us more information (your side of things) I'd say the letter sounds quite reasonable and straightforward. How old is your son? It seems to me that you are literate, can type well and should have no problem putting something together in the new few weeks.
Thank you very much for your comment Arabian. My older son (Conrad) is 19 now. What I am disagreeing here with is that the lawyer did not mention anything about extended health benefits (which I need for my medication), life insurance and financial statements. I have almost $30K debt on my credit cards which I feel that 1/3 of is for day-to-day living expenses and that I would want to split with my husband, and the fact that Conrad may go back to school and college full time - we are both desperately working on this.

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
How is he affording a lawyer on his salary? How old is eldest son? 10 hrs a week at Wendy's hardly implies he is self-sufficient. Are there any costs associated with the counseling your son is getting?
Has your ex's income historically been under 35k per year?

It would be best to avoid Court if at all possible. If you each have equal debts and can split the assets down the middle - would be good to consider settling. I didn't know lawyers gave drop-dead dates like that, as a rule. What is YOUR gut feeling about the proposed offer? What (if anything) would you accept about it - or not accept? Finally, if you were to propose an offer to him - what would that offer include, point by point? Jot this down as an "exercise" and just be really honest with yourself. See what you come up with.
Thank you very much for your input Headeanough. My husband's income has been like this most of the time. I do not intend to hire a lawyer because I simply do not have any money. What do you think will happen if I do not respond by deadline and court proceedings are commenced? Would I then be in a worse situation than accepting the offer?

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 PM
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M.K. - how long have you and your husband been separated for? You definitely have the lion's share of the debt. You raise some valid concerns. Allow for some members here to give you some wise advice before you proceed with anything (of course).
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:58 PM
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No, you would be the Respondent. There was a thread posted awhile back (I believe responded to by "Tayken") that outlined some advantages of being the **Respondent. Check into that. I think the letter should be acknowledged, as a courtesy but that doesn't mean you are agreeing to it. The thing here is: clearly - neither of you can afford for this thing to go through the Legal Wringer (Court). The sky won't fall if you don't respond - but you will need to attend Court after they have filed the Application. If you can sort out a fair distribution of the debts - stay as far away from going to Court as possible. You will both be a lot better off, financially. That's a given... (P.S. I think the thread that had "Respondent info" was titled "Ex Filed First" - can't remember who posted it)

Last edited by hadenough; 04-16-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret-Krupa View Post
Thank you very much for your comment Arabian. My older son (Conrad) is 19 now. What I am disagreeing here with is that the lawyer did not mention anything about extended health benefits (which I need for my medication), life insurance and financial statements. I have almost $30K debt on my credit cards which I feel that 1/3 of is for day-to-day living expenses and that I would want to split with my husband, and the fact that Conrad may go back to school and college full time - we are both desperately working on this.

First off, sorry about your sons addictions. You feel that 1/3 of your debt was for day to day living expenses? Sorry but courts dont deal with feelings, they deal with facts so you would have to prove it. As for your oldest son, he is 19 and not in school, he may go back to school or he may not. You cant expect your stbx to pay for him since he is now 19. I would try to get it worded though that if he goes back to school (and really tries, just isnt a body in a classroom) the CS or some sort of support would be paid to help with that. Realistically until your child gets control of his life, he probably wont be going back to school. Maybe time for some tough love there.

the bonus thing is that you know what your ex wants to so are prepared to counter offer.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:35 PM
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Thanks SOS: a very important point to remember - that Courts don't deal with feelings, they deal with facts. Hopefully the OP can settle things - it sounds like both parties would be in financial ruin if this went to Court.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:45 PM
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My opinions - whether you want to fight on this is your choice
- I'd say Conrad is still in school and is NOT self-sufficient. 10h/wk is a typical high-school job load. HOWEVER - you are fighting over $2400 i.e. an extra $200/mo for maybe 1 year (unless you think it likely that he will go to university after finishing high school)
- Don't agree with delaying CS - unless you are benefiting from cheap living in the house until the sale closes. If you don't put it on record NOW that you feel that CS should be payable now, then you make it very hard for yourself to pursue retro-CS later.
- Give up on the health plan - no longer his problem (especially if he finds a new partner)
- Give up on the insurance on his life (it's only a matter of 5 years before kids are out of school)
- No comment on the debt (not enough info), but you are fighting over $5K (1/2 of 1/3 of $30K). If you pursue it, you will need to give some hard numbers by cranking through all your past statements.
- WHO put money into the RESP? If he put in a significant portion, then I agree with his claim. Do the math to figure out if his contribution will cover at least 1/3 of the tuition/books.
- Suggest just adding a line that CS will be adjusted automatically on June 1 each year based on the most recent NOA, which he will provide each year.

Sorry I can't comment on anything else that was missing that you expected to see there (don't presume that responders are reading all your old posts).

Last edited by dinkyface; 04-16-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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