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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 12-18-2019, 12:06 PM
Whatelsedear Whatelsedear is offline
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Default Need honest opinions to help me move forward

I need good advice from the forum members to help me move forward. I am particularly seeking opinions on whether I am being unreasonable. Here is some background information about my situation.
  • Married for 18 years
  • Separated for a little over2 years
  • Two kids (12 and 14 yearsold)
  • Currently, the ex and I still live in the same house
  • I have been (and still) paying for everything in the house. The ex doesn’t pay anything
  • I'm employed full time with good pension
  • The ex currently not employed. She was employed then recently (few weeks ago) lost her employment. She never been able to obtain full time employment, but she's been always able to get full time term employment
  • The ex is highly educated with post-graduate degrees
  • For the time being, the ex decided not to pursue any employment opportunities. In the past, she was always able to get a job.She never stayed out of employment for more than few weeks
  • We both have lawyers
  • Few months ago, our lawyers drafted a separation agreement, which included the ex’s entire lawyer proposed terms. At that time, the ex had a job that paid her the lowest income in her entire career. Therefore, the terms of the agreement were based on that low income
Here are the important terms of the separation agreement:
  • Asset division and equalization completed (but not applied yet). Due to my pension, I ended up owing the ex a large sum from equalization. However, my share of the house (50%) is still higher than what I owe. Therefore, I can cover what I owe from my share of the house
  • Spousal support: we agreed, with the approval of our lawyers, in return for a full release from spousal support, I transfer my entire share of the house to the ex, basically she will own the house (remember that my share is more than what I owe in equalization). In addition to that, the ex will have all the content of the house, and the car. Furthermore, I will not ask the ex to pay what she owes in property tax, property insurance, household maintenance and repair, other household costs including groceries, etc., since the date of separation. In the draft agreement, spousal support release was intricately intertwined with property division.
  • 50/50 custody, and I pay off set child support
Everyone was happy with this arrangement, including our lawyers. However, few days before signing the agreement, the ex full time term job ended, and she decided not to pursue any new employment opportunities. Additionally, she requested a 3-year spousal support on top of what is already agreed on in the draft agreement. Although initially I was considering accepting, I changed my mind after I saw that with her zero income, there will be no way for me to afford to do so, based on the terms of the current draft SA. In effect, if I pay CS and SS based on her zero income, I would end up with less than $1300/month to pay a mortgage for $2200/month, and this is without even accounting for other living expenses, such as utility bills, property tax, etc. Therefore, I explained to her the situation and presented her with two alternative options:
  • We keep the current SA, but an imputed income of $45,000 must be assigned to her, or she must get a new job, and I pay SS for a year.
  • We cancel the current agreement, I split my pension with her at source, we sell the house, split the content of the house, I keep the car, and we do a schedule of adjustments for the two years after separation. I pay off-set CS, and once she proves entitlement, I pay SS (non-compensatory support only) for a pre-determined time.
The ex does not like option 2, but she is insisting on keeping the current draft SA and add to it the SS, eventhough the current draft SA is based on asset division that would compensate for spousal support release. I explained that by requesting on top of what is in the current draft SA additional SS, it mounts to double accounting. Furthermore, it seems to me that she does not understand (or care) that I cannot afford to do that. Please, tell me if I am being unreasonable, and whether you see other option(s). I am very grateful for any advice you can provide. Thank you all.
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:55 PM
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
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I'm really sorry, it sounds like you made a lot of progress and that you had made many concessions to move things along. I am no expert on these matters so, I wouldn't take a lot of stock on my opinion, however I think you are being more than reasonable and there is an expectation that she maintain a job that is aligned with her experience and education. If she was working a job that was making significantly less, then she could average her income of the previous 3 years. However, in my opinion, the basis of your agreement was to over contribute equalization in lieu of SS. If SS is back on the table, then so is equalization and you go back to the drawing board.

Hope you reach a resolution. Good luck
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:11 PM
Whatelsedear Whatelsedear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
I'm really sorry, it sounds like you made a lot of progress and that you had made many concessions to move things along. I am no expert on these matters so, I wouldn't take a lot of stock on my opinion, however I think you are being more than reasonable and there is an expectation that she maintain a job that is aligned with her experience and education. If she was working a job that was making significantly less, then she could average her income of the previous 3 years. However, in my opinion, the basis of your agreement was to over contribute equalization in lieu of SS. If SS is back on the table, then so is equalization and you go back to the drawing board.

Hope you reach a resolution. Good luck
Thank you so much Gilligan for your feedback. Yes, I thought I made a lot of concessions, but I was not sure if I left some out.
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