by ozmac1000  13/01/2009  532 Page Views
9 Comments  Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
G´day. This is my first post here.

With all discussion forums, new members are criticised for not first reading previous topics and potentially finding the answers without asking the same questions over and over. Each individual cirxstances differ though.

Having said that, I want to briefly explain my cirxstances, share my thoughts and seek your collective thoughts and opinions, and of course, your learned advice.

I think I am in a somewhat unique area. You see I am a former Police Prosecutor with many years experience. I don´t have a Law degree, but am more than capable to read legislation, understand it and subsequently, if my family situation goes to the courts, I should be able to run my own case independently, needing only to seek minimal paid legal advice along the way. (One of my former peers in the same boat recently had a total legal bill of under $800 while his former wife in her attempts to claim as much as she possibly could paid her lawyer in excess of $18,000)

OK, so putting that to one side, I have had a preliminary discussion with a Lawyer and had many of my questions answered. For the $99 forty five minute preliminary discussion, the advice was more-so in general terms rather than specific.

Where this now becomes difficult is that we are soon to lodge papers for divorce. She has already spoken with a Lawyer (legal aid), but unfortunately for both of us, the advice given to her was not 100% accurate and based on older legislation, and ignoring recent Case Law. That issue will be a shock to her if we end up in the courts.

We are living separated under the same roof. Currently about 80% of my income after tax goes to the home loan, rates, power bills, insurance, school fees and so forth. She only pays the grocery and phone bill and contributes a little toward the bills from time to time. (Would not be 10% of the total costs) This has been the way things have been pretty much since we bought our first home around 15 years ago, and obviously before the marriage failed.


My specific questions if anyone can answer....
We live on acreage, and there is an option to build a second house on the place some distance from the original house. This option means we continue to share the property, have daily access to the kids and in the long term, is probably the best option for the children. It would be almost like living in the same street after divorce. That being said, our "date of separation" would be more than 18 months ago. Does the monies I pay toward the home loan count as monies toward child support and her maintenance? (If so, that figure is greater than what CSA advise is my legal obligated payments to her upon divorce)

If we sell the place, that is fairly easy to understand how that works. However, if one pays out the other, the situation is not so clear. I have a salary base that I can easily refinance and pay her out if she goes. Her salary after tax is not even half of the current loan payments. I sought advice from the bank, given her salary base, she does not have the capacity to support a home loan at all. The only way she could keep the property for herself and pay me out is to have a lotto win or her rich parents step in. Can she/they do that? I don´t want to leave my property. It is my down time hobby (trees, gardening and my big workshop where I make things).
If it is possible to all stay on the place in separate dwellings, how does this effect settlement in the eventual sale years after the divorce goes through, while I maintain 100% of the loan repayments? Is it still 50/50 ?

On the child issue, they are aged 14 and 12. My daughter is completely alienated from me and in fact once stabbed me with a pair of scissors. (very minor injury). My wife has fabricated a bunch of stories she has told my children about me. My situation was merely that of having an affair, but the wife told the kids I was bedding myriads of prostitutes, among other tales. My son (the elder) said, "You did the wrong thing Dad. But I love you still the same. Let´s put it behind us and move on". My daughter however sucked up every word she has been told. She does not mind swearing at me in the greatest of profanities, rejects and my discipline. (For example, if she is being bad or disrespectful to her brother, if I say anything, the response is "F off, I don´t have to listen to you". If I raise my voice, I get a bigger mouthful. She tells me this is not my house anymore. If Mum is not home from work when I get there, I ask my daughter if she knows where Mum is , the response is "What she does has nothing to do with you". Her latest is totally ignoring me, not answering questions except to say, "I don't have to listen to you", or "I'm not telling you".
I raise these issues with my wife, the response "There is nothing I can do about it." So the wife appears to want 100% custody and care. Do I have any rights in respect of paying child support for a child who not only hates me, but that hatred is continually fueled by the lies of my wife.?

If I do have to pay child support, it works out to be around $1300 a month if she has them everyday. Can she also ask for wife support on top of that? She clears maybe around $500 a week.

I am fearing that she can sap me of my earnings, and I do not even get to spend quality time with my children for the sake of it.

Any advice you can give is appreciated. I accept that any advice is a guide only and not binding information.