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how to get divorce money you are owed?
Old 03-12-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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how to get divorce money you are owed?

A friend of mine (who lives in Canada) is in a weird situation after a pretty bad divorce. I wonder if someone on this board may have some ideas.

The court's decision was that her spouse owes her some sum of money. She can't get it however, because the guy simply does not pay and claims he does not have any (in reality he has them hidden somewhere). When she goes to the sheriff, sheriff says she must not only show the court's papers (which she has), but also tell him where the money is, which she does not know. Apparently, they cannot withhold it from his wages either (only child support). So, the court's decision is pointless then... ?

I don't know how this works in Canada or in US, but would guess there are similarities, so either way, your thoughts might inspire something...

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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No idea how cross border collection works. I went through a bitter divorce and paid every cent plus awarded interest. Courts in Canada certainly favour women so I am sure there would be a way to enforce the judgement.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:48 PM   #3
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In the US (in some states), you can go to small-claims court and put a lien on property.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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States seem to be doing a better job of collecting these days. DW was divorced from her first husband 27 years ago and never got a dime in child support. A few months ago she got a letter from the state asking if she would like them to make him pay. Umm...thanks a lot.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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The court's decision is not pointless, it's just hard to enforce. The Sheriff cannot seize an asset (and enforce the court's decision) if he doesn't know where that asset is located or if that asset even exists in the first place. So I think that your friend has to do a bit of detective work to figure out where the money is hidden.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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Heck, I know a guy who hid over $623,000 from the Feds on the way to prison due to his illegal business practice of money laundering and not paying his taxes (yeah, I know the Feds are picky-picky about that sort of thing). If you can hide it from the Feds, you can hide it from anyone. Ditto what FIREdreamer said: your friend has to do some detective work...and probably alot of real digging, too.
Aren't there attorneys out there that specialize in this sort of thing? Like Probate types? Or divorce types? People who die without Wills have family members hiring attorneys to dig up information every day, so I'm assuming she can go to the same folks.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:32 PM   #7
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I have an idea- she should suck it up and earn her own money.

Ha
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #8
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A good P.I. can do an asset search for her, but it is not cheap of course.
"Good" is the operative word when picking your help.
If it exist, it can be found....
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:07 PM   #9
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I imagine she had a lawyer for the divorce? The divorce is not over, her job is not finished. Consult her.

Is it possible the guy is actually broke?
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:30 PM   #10
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I know someone who was in a similar situation (in Canada). The guy was a drunk and was not paying child support. She got a lawyer, and his wages were garnished. YMMV, because it's possible that child support changes the issues.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:22 PM   #11
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In the US it varies from state to state. She'd need to see what the Canadian laws say.

In Idaho (my state), there are child support enforcement clauses that by law must be added to every divorce decree that state that either party can enforce income withholding on any employer, get each other's license suspended, or file liens on any real or personal property. See Idaho Code Section 32-1204.

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Old 03-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #12
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I haven't, yet, learned first hand about Canadian divorce law. I do believe that any maintenance order (ie. child support, alimony etc) can get a garnishee order. A lump sum payment may not.

IANAL (but I am Canadian), she should consult one.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:36 AM   #13
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Thank you everyone for responses. Liens is an interesting idea - I'll run it by her. As for child support - it already comes out of his wages; so the question is only about a lump sum that he owes. Haha, your response is uncalled for - it assumes for some reason she did not deserve that money. Just because the guy steals *her* money, does not mean it is rightfully his. But I am not here to discuss that side of the story - that's what the courts are for.

As for doing the detective work, she can't call through various banks asking if he has bank accounts there... any interesting suggestions for detective work are appreciated. Maybe there are some obvious or not-so-obvious ways to do the digging... ?

As for lawyer contact - lawyer is expensive there; so asking him to do something that may turn up nothing is quite a risk... (She already paid through the nose for the lawyer just to get to the judgement part...)
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:50 AM   #14
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can she withhold things like children from him to make him pay? For example, if you want to see your kids, pay up.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #15
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ats5g- Your suggestion is really wrong. Shame on you. Leave the kids out of these issues. Many women use the "kid" issue to get what they want and kids end up losing any relationship they may have had with their fathers. My X tried that but somehow we overcame it and have a great relationship with my daughter.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #16
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Like Danmar said, she is not going to put kids in the middle.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I have an idea- she should suck it up and earn her own money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post

Ha

Dang, haha, housewives are to receive some compensation if they have been in the home so many years that they have no money. That's the law in all the States I think.
That's not to say she gets all the money--just part of the money he earned while she stayed home birthing the babies, cooking, cleaning and so forth.
I was always a working woman by choice, but it isn't fair to send a lady out into the world with zip/nothing at all and expect her to survive. Be realistic about this.
Suppose this means we should kick all those mooching orphans out of foster homes and let the little bums get a j-o-b, too?
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:44 PM   #18
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OK, I'm busted.

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Old 03-13-2010, 12:46 PM   #19
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can she withhold things like children from him to make him pay? For example, if you want to see your kids, pay up.
Something tells me that a guy like that wouldn't give a hoot about seeing the kids, and, although most on this board aren't like that, there are PLENTY of men out there who are, unfortunately.
Sure, she could be a creep, also, and withhold the kids. Many women have done it.
Yeah, two CAN play that game, but at what price ultimately for them and the kids? Yeah, let's go for the old lose-lose situation here.
And that's enables the practice of psychology to thrive today and why there's so many messed-up kids walking around.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:45 PM   #20
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can she withhold things like children from him to make him pay? For example, if you want to see your kids, pay up.
This is specifically disallowed in Idaho as a matter of course in a Supplemental Custody Order. No idea about Canada.

Not to mention that it can backfire. Regardless of the parent doing it, and regardless of how lousy the other parent is, the kids often resent being kept from seeing their other parent and will blame the parent doing the withholding.

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