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Is it any wonder marriage stats are going down

leftbroken posted 10/26/2020 18:38 PM

So speaking with a nephew that I hadn't spoken to in around a year. I knew at the time that he and his common law partner were having problems and would likely be splitting up. Its a young couple that produced 1 off spring. He and the live in GF were together for about 2 years and then split up. They were split up for about 2 years and then one day while both had been drinking they hooked up and low and behold she ends up pregnant, poor judgement on both of their parts. They decide to try to make a go of it and she moves in with him (relocation is a long-distance move for her to where he lives, in a town with a fairly high cost of living.) She has a high paying occupational field but chooses to work part-time, he works 3 jobs to cover the bills.

So here is the situation of where he is at now. They split up almost a year ago, he has his own place, and they have shared custody of their child 50/50 since they split. They are going the legal route on the split even though they weren't married because he felt her expectations regarding child support and spousal support were unreasonable.

He has consulted a lawyer and they are close to their court date but he is terrified. In speaking with his lawyer she has told him that depending on the judge she can be awarded as little as 3 years of spousal support or as much as 16 years, all because they lived together for a year. He has done the online calculations for child support and has been paying that plus extra since they split.

I just don't understand how this could be. If you look at it by the hourly wage she makes around 5-6 dollars an hour more than he does and in her chosen field if she chose to work full time she would easily make more than he does working all 3 jobs, jobs that he is working simply to be able to pay her but because he is working them his income goes up and so goes the payment demands.

None of this takes into account that the Lawyer told him that the spousal support could actually be higher than the child support and for as long as 16 years. When he was shopping around for a lawyer, the one he got is considered the best in the area by everyone he spoke to.

How on earth could you be stuck paying spousal support for 16 years because you lived with someone for a year. After hearing that I must say I find it incredible that anybody is willing to take the risk of living with or marrying somebody.

phmh posted 10/26/2020 20:26 PM

That doesn't seem right. I hope he gets a consultation with another lawyer. I know it varies by state in the US - not sure which country/state they are in. In my state, spousal support is sometimes offered in long-term marriages (over 16 years) - definitely not for a 1 year cohabitation split. I was told that almost all states are moving away from spousal support as they expect adults to be able to support themselves.

Unless the 16 years is to get the child to 18 because she gave up her high-paying job and moved to a HCL area and can't find a comparable FT job? But that seems like it should be considered child support and not spousal support.

OwningItNow posted 10/26/2020 20:54 PM

I am very confused on the accuracy of this info. How long was the cohabitation in the new city? Is it possible that he is confusing spousal with straight child support?

leftbroken posted 10/26/2020 21:49 PM

That doesn't seem right. I hope he gets a consultation with another lawyer. I know it varies by state in the US - not sure which country/state they are in. In my state, spousal support is sometimes offered in long-term marriages (over 16 years) - definitely not for a 1 year cohabitation split. I was told that almost all states are moving away from spousal support as they expect adults to be able to support themselves.
Unless the 16 years is to get the child to 18 because she gave up her high-paying job and moved to a HCL area and can't find a comparable FT job? But that seems like it should be considered child support and not spousal support
.

Canada, not U.S.

I thought about the confusion of spousal and child support but then realized that wouldn't make sense because then there wouldn't be a low end of 3 years. The lawyer did tell him that the likelihood of him getting the minimum is very high but I still can't believe that the potential for 16 years is there. How on earth could you justify awarding 16 years of spousal support to someone after 1 year of cohabitation.

I always heard that it is basically 1 year of spousal for every 2 years married but once you hit 20 years of marriage it's spousal for life. The fact that he is looking at 3 years seem rediculous to me.

As far as her sacrificing her career to move, its actually the other way around. Her profession is in great demand where they live and very few certified service providers. Her employers have asked her numerous times to go full time but she won't, she limits herself to 20 hours a week.

I keep thinking that there has to be something he is misunderstanding, it just doesnt make sense to me.

leftbroken posted 10/26/2020 21:53 PM

I am very confused on the accuracy of this info. How long was the cohabitation in the new city? Is it possible that he is confusing spousal with straight child support?

They lived in different cities when they"hooked up". After they found out she was pregnant they arranged for her to move to where he lived. She moved there shortly before having the baby. So tge full length of their cohabitation was in the new city.

phmh posted 10/27/2020 20:38 PM

I keep thinking that there has to be something he is misunderstanding, it just doesnt make sense to me.

Completely agree. I have been on SI for almost 9 years now and I have never heard of anything remotely like this for a short-term relationship. I really hope he checks with another lawyer or clarifies this information before freaking out too much!

Hawke posted 10/29/2020 17:42 PM

First of all, you are getting a second-hand account of what the lawyer said, so take it all with a grain of salt. The lawyer is preparing your nephew for a worst case scenario because judges can make weird decisions. That's why most people settle disputes - they really don't want a wild card judge deciding their futures.

I'm in Canada and separated from my ex in 2016.
The ability to work is not really considered by the courts in calculating child support in the province where I live - it is based on actual income. It is such an uphill battle to try to impute income that it's not worth it to bother trying (ask me how I know...). This varies from province to province, though.

To give you a flavour of an actual outcome: My ex was a SAHD, we lived common law for 7 years and had 2 children together. I paid him spousal support for 3.5 years and it was almost as much as the child support. We settled on what we thought, based on legal advice, would be a typical outcome rather than pay costs of litigating.

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