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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101048
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I have been paying my ex-wife through maintenance

Customer Question

I have been paying my ex-wife through maintenance enforcement in Alberta $1,700/mo for 5 years for a total in excess of $100,000, as well she got a cash payment to her of over $160,000 from my government pension. She worked very sporadically outside of the home during our 37 year marriage. We have two grown children living on their own. The initial arrangement was that I would pay her without an end date. My question is - can I apply to have the payments eliminated? If so what would my chances be with a Judge in Court?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

A 37 year marriage is considered to be exceedingly long. In marriages of 20 years or more the goal of the court is to equalize the incomes of the two former spouses and to have spousal support continue indefinitely. Based on your facts and especially considering not only the length of the marriage but that your spouse rarely worked outside of the home it is not likely that a Court would agree to reduce or eliminate spousal support after five years.

I am sorry that this is not the answer you were hoping for but telling you what you want to hear is not going to help you.

Do let me know if you need any further clarification.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it not matter about the large cash settlement? I am still working but I'm currently 62 years old and trying to save something for my retirement.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

The large cash settlement has nothing to do with income or support.

That was her entitlement to the division of assets. It is not that you gave something to her. She had earned it by being married for so long because the law is that marriage is an equal partnership. So she just got payment for assets that she owned with you even if they were not in her name.

A pension is an asset.

But she will not share in your pension when you start to receive it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm already receiving my pension from the armed forces and have been since 1994. But it was reduced by half because she got the cash settlement. I guess there isn't much else I can do right?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

No there is not.

I am sorry about that but that is how the law works for very long marriages.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

You will need to go to court to get the order that will rectify the mistake.

Then the FRO will enforce it for you.

You can retain a lawyer or self-represent.