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  • Feb 22nd, 2010 2:53 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2360 posts
330 upvotes

Divorce Q's

I have a couple questions related to divorce that I'm hoping someone will have some experience with. First some details:

John makes $50k per year. He has a pension locked in from a previous employer (unsure if DB or DC), and is contributing to a pension at his current employer (also unsure of DB or DC).

Jane makes $25k per year and has no pension.

They've been married somewhere between 20 and 25 years. A couple years ago they separated (she moved out), so they sold their home and John bought a new one while they were apart. They've since moved back together, but the house and all bills are solely in John's name.

So now I have a couple questions about what could happen if Jane divorces John:

Alimony Related
a) Is Jane likely to receive alimony based on the 33%/66% ratio of gross family income?
b) If a 25 yr old child is on disability and living with Jane, will that change the likelihood of alimony? Would child support also apply?

House Related
a) Is Jane entitled to any equity in the home? I guess normally she would be, but maybe the fact that she left him for a year or two matters?
b) Does (a) change if Jane doesn't pay any bills, and John pays for everything?
c) What if Jane gives John an amount of cash each month to cover some of the costs? And does it matter if she gives him a small amount (maybe only to cover her share of groceries), or a large amount (to cover her fair share of groceries/utilities/mortgage/etc.)?
d) Since she gives cash and can't prove anything, does that effectively put her back to (b)?

Pension Related
- How does John's pension get split when they divorce (if it gets split at all)? Would she get a lump sum from either/both pensions at divorce time? Or a lump sum at retirement time? Or a monthly payment at retirement time? Or nothing at all?

Thanks for any insight you can give.
8 replies
Banned
Feb 10, 2010
789 posts
37 upvotes
Thats impossible to answer because it would depend on what kind of deal they could come up with, what each persons lawyer will do, and potentially what the courts would decide.

Since they live together and have a child Jane will most likely continue living in the home. Yes there would definitely be support payments be it alimony and/or support for the dependent.

Equity in the home, if it is completely in Johns name, would not be entirely 50/50. Whatever equity John had during the time he lived there alone is his, anything gained since she moved back in is 50/50 regardless of who pays the bills.

I could be wrong though as they've been married 20+ years prior to this, so it might all be 50/50 despite this "separation" which I'm assuming wasnt made official with any sort of legal agreement?


Bottom line, it doesnt matter that "she left", or that he pays all the bills. She is still entitled to her share of the family assets.

I saw this happen to a friend of mine a few years ago, he was paying 90% of the bills and his wife ran off on him with another guy and she still took 50% of everything anyway.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2360 posts
330 upvotes
will2009wpg wrote:
Feb 18th, 2010 10:34 am
Bottom line, it doesnt matter that "she left", or that he pays all the bills. She is still entitled to her share of the family assets.
That's what I was hoping to hear. She'll be able to survive in this case, but if her leaving had "reset" something, then she'd basically have to work until the day she dies since she has no savings or retirement plan.
Banned
Feb 10, 2010
789 posts
37 upvotes
Like I said, the only way her leaving matters is if when she did leave they wrote up and signed a formal separation agreement. I'm assuming they didnt since they got back together (soon?) after.



You have to consider too, that this house may have been bought while she was away, but was still purchased while they were officially married, using the proceeds from their first family home, and it thus remains the "family home". The family residence is always 50/50 no matter who "owns" it

Real estate more than any other asset, becomes a shared asset as soon as it becomes the principal residence in the marriage. It becomes more a question of who gets to live there, not who owns it. Even if he retains full ownership (which he wont), most likely she will be allowed to live there and take care of the child, not him. She can also prevent him from selling in this case as well.


as far as I know, the only things that "john" gets to keep to himself would be assets that he had before the marriage, that he has kept stashed entirely in his name and were not used in the purchase of any sort of "family" asset.

As soon as he spends any of that money on family car, house, etc. it becomes 50/50.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2360 posts
330 upvotes
Yeah I don't know how soon after it was (from what I understand it was a year or two), and I don't think anything formal was written up.

So the only item outstanding is how the pension works, and assuming she's also entitled to a portion of that, whether she would get that portion at the time of divorce, or not until later when retirement time comes. (She's kind of hoping for the lump sum up front to help get settled.)
Banned
Feb 10, 2010
789 posts
37 upvotes
Yes she is entitled to part of the pension. I dont know the details though

I wouldnt count on a lump sum.

usually a lump sum is more of a payoff anyway, its much better in the long run to collect the actual pension than get it payed out.
Jr. Member
Jul 26, 2004
194 posts
5 upvotes
Do u guys know of a good divorce lawyer? in the GTA?

please provide his/her contacts and your experiences dealing with him/her if possible
Member
Dec 23, 2005
235 posts
33 upvotes
Scarborough
yana wrote:
Feb 22nd, 2010 2:09 pm
Do u guys know of a good divorce lawyer? in the GTA?

please provide his/her contacts and your experiences dealing with him/her if possible
http://www.ezdivorce.ca/

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