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Hello, I live in BC. My fiance just got a legal letter from…

Hello, I live in BC...
Hello, I live in BC. My fiance just got a legal letter from his ex wife requesting his income statements for the past 3 years. They have joint custody and the 9 year old child is with us for 2 weeks and with her Mom for 2 weeks. The letter requests a response in 10 days disclosing this information. What do we do from here. I am tempted to ignore it and make her file court documents as there are some issues that need to be brought to light. I am worried that if we go to court we could end up paying her legal fees. What is the law? and what can she do now?
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/7/2012
Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 104,544
Experience: I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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She has a right to disclosure of financial information.

And so does our fiancee.

There is no way to know what support has to be paid without knowing what both their incomes are.

If your fiancee needs to go to Court for other issues that's understandable but for sure they will both need to provide this financial information anyway.

If she wins in Court your fiancee will need to pay a portion of her legal fees.

As a first step it would make sense for your fiancee to consult with his family lawyer. If he does not have a lawyer or does not want to use this lawyer then he can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. He will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.

The number is:

604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919.

Let me know if you need further clarification.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thanks Debra, does it matter at all that they share custody %50/50? Not sure if this is taken into consideration. She is a stay at home mom and does not have an income. I have been on disability for 2 years. I am wondering if we can request her "new" husbands income be taken into consideration as it would be more than my disability?
Yes I know they do and that was considered when I replied.

If she is able to work but is deliberately un-employed the Court would likely impute income to her.

That means the Court may consider what she could be earning and state this is her notional income for support purposes.

If your fiancee wants to make a Claim for undue hardship then the Court would consider all the financial details including your income and her spouse's in an effort to scrutinize the lifestyles. But it's very difficult to succeed in such a claim.

I am in Ontario and so have to go to bed. If you still need me I wil check back in the morning. If not please click accept as this authorizes the site to pay me.

Have a good night.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
This legal letter wants compliance with this info in 10days? My fiancee is not even in town for 8 more days. What are the legal ramifications of not responding? Thanks Sandy
She will get an order compelling compliance and will get her costs for the order.

But all you have to do is say your fiancee is away and he needs an extension for considering complying.

As I've explained he will have to comply. It's her right to have this information. As she receives support she needs it. The Court will order it.

I think you fiancee needs to consult with a family lawyer face to face so that he can get a better understanding of what it likely to unfold before making any decisions. That is really by far his most prudent next step.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Hi Debra thanks for the info i contacted the # XXXXX gave me but the only 3 lawyers in our town either us or the ex wife have dealt with before have a name to try in courtenay. We pay the the letter of my fiancees income with respect to 50/50 custody can she go after more money? there is no $ amount in their separation agreement.
I am sorry. There is a typo and I just want to make sure I understand what you mean.

Are you saying you pay at the level of what your fiancee should be paying based on his income and you want to know if she can higher than the amount set by the guidelines?

If so, no she can't.

But if I've misunderstood just let me know.

Thanks
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Yes we do pay according to income but we were under the impression that because we have the child 50% of the time we pay %50.
That's not how it works.

How it works is he pays what he has to pay according to the table less what she has to pay him.

So you look up what he has to pay if she had the child full-time and from that you subtract what she would have to pay him if he had the child full-time.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Hi Debra, Can you tell me if it is a legal conflict of interest that the lawyer representing the ex was my lawyer on my own family matter and he has knowledge of my financial status from representing me then?
It could be if your financial situation matters.

But unless there is claim for undue hardship I don't see how it can matter.

Do you see what I mean?
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Hi Debra, it just ticks me off that he knows exactly how much money I received when my Dad passed away a few years ago. Do you know what the chances are of the ex getting back payment when my fiance voluntarily overpaid her for 2 years when he worked for himself before going out of town for work. They have a separation agreement but it is not registrered and there is no order.So I dont think there can be any arrears? This letter is the first request for financial info or more money. Furthermore we have always paid and we increased the payment without being asked when he went out of town to work. If we go to court and regardless of the sec 9 of the guidelines we are ordered to pay it will NOT be worth it for my fiance to stay working out of town. It seems so wrong that the laws are the way they are. The harder my husband works the more he pays while also raising the child exactly 50% of the time. Meanwhile the ex has two children with another guy (and of course no longer works) so we pay more. Also if we go to court again we will be punishied for being responsible and paying down our mortgage and not have outlandish toys while the other household has all kinds of debt.
Do you know what the law is on child tax credit. We have always let her claim the child as her income was lower and it made more sense. However she has now been married for 2 years and it would be of equal benefit now. It seems from my research if they both claim it nobody gets it. Can it be split in 6 months per year or alternated?
If it comes to court I feel I am a dependent of my fiance as I have been on disabilty for 2 years and am still recovering from 4 spinal surgeries. He pays all the bills, medical, therapies, etc. She would be stupid to say anything about my income because with me on disability her husbands income will definatly be higher than mine. We are trying to get an appointment with a lawyer our of our town. Hopefully can get in early next week.
My husband wants to speak with a lawyer before responding to this letter and the 10 days is obviously passed. So another question can she get an order for comliance before trying to send a registered letter? Thanks
Do you mean section 7?

And they aren't asking for your financials, right?
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Not sure about section 7 section 9 of the guidelines is regardling joint custody when each parent has the child no less than 40% of the time. So far no the are not asking for my financials.
I don't think the lawyer is in a conflict position but your spouse can raise that and the lawyer could volunteer to step down. It's not uncommon for a lawyer to do that as the lawyer won't want to have to defend himself.

Arrears accumulate whenever there is an agreement as well as a Court Order.

I think the real issue here is that the mother should be imputed income.

When there is a shared custody situation then both incomes matter and so if she is deliberately under-employed the Court would impute income for support purposes.

That would be the most fair approach your fiancee can take.

Child support does go up when income goes up. That makes sense as it's the right of the child. But she must be treated as if she is earning what she could be for child support purposes.

The can split all tax benefits but you are right if they cannot agree neither will end up getting it.

She cannot get an order until your fiancee is served with documents.

There will be enough time.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Hi Debra, thanks for all the info I am so relieved to know she cannot get an order with first sending a registered letter to us. We are trying to get in to see a lawyer ASAP. Think for now we will let it go about the conflict of interest as I know that the lawyer representing her is not great. When he represented me I ended up writing most letters and he just signed them. But if my financial history comes up at all we definatly will have to question him and site a conflict.
Do you think the court would imput income to the ex? She worked until she had her 2 other children (even when she was single with my fiance and her child half the time. It just doesnt seem right that we pay more because of their lifestyle and family choices. The amount in the agreement is significantly less than what we pay now and we voluntarily increased it when my fiances income increased. He can prove that he is paying at least half of the guidelines taking into consideration we have her 50% of the time, she has separate clothing, shoes, jackets, school supplies everything at each house, transportation (flights to and from work he has to pay out of pocket), rent/housing and vehicle costs to work out of town.
Thanks Debra!
Yes I do believe the Court would impute income based on these facts.

It just would not be fair otherwise. I think that's quite clear in fact.
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