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Old 03.02.2011, 10:59
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Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

Been reading a bit from people who mainly are on the recieving end of spouse support/maintenance claims, so its with a bit of intrepidation I ask if anyone can help me to find legal aid in the Geneva area, or suggest how I can stop the money haemorrage while I try to receive some financial support from my ex wife - yes I am on the 'other' side! I have been to a few lawyers and after a few 1000k of fees I still do not have any formal application process in place and now find I cannot afford the high cost of further 'advice'.

Before you might judge, consider this: I was the one who walked out of a 12yr marriage because I could not take the constant verbal abuse, lack of respect, and mistrust from an alcoholic partner who somehow continues to work in a high pressure job for the UN; I now have big 'gaps' in my work CV as I usually took the back seat as my partner's career seemed to head skywards, with plenty of encouragement and reassurance from her and no probs with money sharing issues at the time. The down side is such that now I am unable to snare any work in my field though I continue to apply for anyhting I think I have a chance to be competitive (I am highly educated with over 25 years experience in my field), and the unfortunate fact is that I am also nearly 60 yrs old which is a deadly age for ageism in the workforce. So I find myself stranded in expensive Geneva with no spouse support, quickly going through my meager savings and a (still) belligerent ex who simply says 'stiff s**t' to any request of some support, even though she is where she is today because I deferred to her career, and because of her own abilities of course.

I am not doing this out of vengence or hatred, simply out of a feeling of establishing what I consider to be a fair quid quo pro. So, any help or suggestions would be most appreciated, or at least some understanding that not all cases of maintenance claims are done out of greed or revenge but out of sheer necessity and a sense of fairness. I have self supporting adult children from another marriage so they are not really in the picture in this case.
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Old 03.02.2011, 11:09
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

You are divorced. All financial claims against each other should have already been settled and decided. Was there a maintenance / alimony plan formally drawn up as part of the divorce settlement ? Is she honouring this, or do you want more from her ?
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Old 03.02.2011, 11:47
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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I still do not have any formal application process in place and now find I cannot afford the high cost of further 'advice'.
Welcome to the Forum!

Be reasonable and see that at 60 years old you won't be finding another job. You are now retired, so begin to enjoy it!

I would move to a cheaper canton, a village with low taxation. Find an apartment costing less than CHF 600,--. Give any excess money to your children. When you are down to CHF 10'000 savings, find a local lawyer, pay him the CHF 3'000 deposit, then get a divorce: she might have to pay you maintenance. You will get legal aid when you are poor. Half of her pension fund will be paid into your pension fund. Apply to the ORP/RAV. Apply for social security if necessary.

Get over it and enjoy life again, why let this bitch make you unhappy?
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Old 03.02.2011, 11:59
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

I am assuming you have not started divorce proceeding yet. Here is a link to Geneva divorce page http://www.ge.ch/etatcivil/divorce/ and here is a link to a 'legal permanence' staff by geneva lawyers, costs 60 chf per 45 minute consultation. https://www.odageneve.ch/index.php?o...d=20&Itemid=90 In addition to maintenance, you will likely also be entitled to part of her pension, so don't forget to look at all the aspects, in which a good lawyer should advise.
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Old 03.02.2011, 12:03
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

The OP refers to his 'Ex Wife' - I would assume the divorce has already taken place.
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Old 03.02.2011, 13:16
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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You are divorced. All financial claims against each other should have already been settled and decided. Was there a maintenance / alimony plan formally drawn up as part of the divorce settlement ? Is she honouring this, or do you want more from her ?
Sorry for the confusion, we are not divorced yet. I am well over the fact of marriage, hence my presumption that I am already out of the legal mess as well - apologies. No agreement has happened yet, just starting to look at the possibilities.
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Old 03.02.2011, 13:20
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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I am assuming you have not started divorce proceeding yet. Here is a link to Geneva divorce page http://www.ge.ch/etatcivil/divorce/ and here is a link to a 'legal permanence' staff by geneva lawyers, costs 60 chf per 45 minute consultation. https://www.odageneve.ch/index.php?o...d=20&Itemid=90 In addition to maintenance, you will likely also be entitled to part of her pension, so don't forget to look at all the aspects, in which a good lawyer should advise.
Ta for the good links - am following up on some now. Our individual pensions are not enough to pay for a cheap canton/village rental so though every penny is useful, it ain't going to be enough to even pay for standard compulsory medical insurance.
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Old 03.02.2011, 13:39
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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Ta for the good links - am following up on some now. Our individual pensions are not enough to pay for a cheap canton/village rental so though every penny is useful, it ain't going to be enough to even pay for standard compulsory medical insurance.
If you are that hard up, medical insurance subsidies may be possible. But if your spouse, soon to be ex, is a UN employee, you still should be covered by that insurance I believe. Anyhow, if here legally with permit, the social services of your commune should also help you out or hospice general http://www.hg-ge.ch/
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Old 03.02.2011, 13:49
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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Welcome to the Forum!

Be reasonable and see that at 60 years old you won't be finding another job. You are now retired, so begin to enjoy it!

I would move to a cheaper canton, a village with low taxation. Find an apartment costing less than CHF 600,--. Give any excess money to your children. When you are down to CHF 10'000 savings, find a local lawyer, pay him the CHF 3'000 deposit, then get a divorce: she might have to pay you maintenance. You will get legal aid when you are poor. Half of her pension fund will be paid into your pension fund. Apply to the ORP/RAV. Apply for social security if necessary.

Get over it and enjoy life again, why let this bitch make you unhappy?
Hmmm.. not sure how this is going over...rest assured I am not unhappy, there isn't a day goes by that I don't rejoice at not having to deal with the abuse and miserable existence I got away from - permanently. Also I love the idea of retirement but as they say - no mon, no fun.... Of course another course of action would be to scurry back to my native country and that is distinctly likely at some point, maybe sooner than I want, simply on the basis that I won't be able to afford the cost of compulsory things like insurance etc here. I may have some recourse for social support back 'home' but frankly I am not sure where that really is anymore, having moved around so much for the last decade or so, and in a sense this place feels as good as any. No winging or feeling sorry for myself here, but these are a facts.

I am already in the 'poor' zone according to your figures, and that was the purpose of my appeal for help, I need some money support fast, having fooled myself that I was capable of employment and having put off procedures to get that happening - if its possible.

So where can I look at asking for legal aid do you know? I am not a resident of CH, just on the ex's work visa as spouse, so I think I might have trouble getting the usual social support that is available for Swiss people.

What is this ORP/RAV anyway?
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Old 03.02.2011, 14:03
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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If you are that hard up, medical insurance subsidies may be possible. But if your spouse, soon to be ex, is a UN employee, you still should be covered by that insurance I believe. Anyhow, if here legally with permit, the social services of your commune should also help you out or hospice general http://www.hg-ge.ch/
Yea you are right re medical insurance under her policy, but she is trying to de-register me from that as we speak! Not sure if thats possible, but it does put the wind up me a bit and has got me thinking that things could change very swiftly. In any case my relatively small medical needs still require me contributing 20-25% of medical costs and even those are becoming onerous (you know the cost of medical things!), esp since refunds automatically go to her account and she isn't in any hurry to forward them to me, causing non refundable late payment fees...etc, well nothing was forwarded until I was told that if she gets the refund amount, she is ultimately responsible for paying the bill - that opened up a few channels when that news was discovered! All the same, lucky I don't have a serious condition or anything eh?

Will look up your link suggestion - thanks.
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Old 03.02.2011, 14:04
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

Have a look here for some further information.

Good luck!
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Old 03.02.2011, 14:08
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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What is this ORP/RAV anyway?
Sorry to hear about your situation but it sounds like some good advice is now coming your way. The RAV is the local job center type place where you can get some useful advice on finding work etc.

You say at 60 your work time is effectively over - which it may be, but visit the ORP/RAV and see what they say. What line of work did you do? maybe someone on the forum can help
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Old 03.02.2011, 14:15
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

Thanks for that,
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Old 03.02.2011, 14:56
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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Sorry to hear about your situation but it sounds like some good advice is now coming your way. The RAV is the local job center type place where you can get some useful advice on finding work etc.

You say at 60 your work time is effectively over - which it may be, but visit the ORP/RAV and see what they say. What line of work did you do? maybe someone on the forum can help
Yes some good advice has come through very quickly, which is great. Don't want to reveal too much for identity reasons right now and may have already indicated to the ex my real situation re finances which will not help as I would prefer a non legal solution if she would come to the party (ie, if she reads this forum). Am willing to 'put it out there' offline if that is possible. My global search for likely positions have not come up with anything yet, hence my need for an alternative strategy in case this is the permanent case.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:05
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

Get yourself to the Hospice Générale - I receive money from them. it is not a lot but it covers my rent, bills and food. They also pay your health insurance for you. Once you are registered with them - It takes time, lots of paperwork - you will get money quite quickly. I think it took about two months for me to get money. Ring them up and they will tell you which office to go to depending on where you live. I live in Charmilles and go to the one in St. Jean. I think the main office is in Rive.

They also help with other things - like discounts on the monthly bus pass, etc.

Nice people. They will have other advice for you to re- who can help with your divorce etc.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:37
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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Get yourself to the Hospice Générale - I receive money from them.......
Hmmm.. very interesting...nice of you to suggest that.
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Old 03.02.2011, 15:45
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

I only heard about them through a Swiss friend. He said that there is some kind of law here that everybody domiciled in Switzerland is entitled to receive money whatever nationality, age, colour etc. they are.
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Old 03.02.2011, 16:56
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

What did the lawyers say? My concern is that she works for the UN. Does she have diplomatic status? If so I think you need to be divorces under the terms of your home country. I think I read this some where. Look for posts about divorce from SwissBob. I'm almost sure he wrote the post I'm thinking of. I'll go look too.
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Old 04.02.2011, 10:16
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Re: Legal Aid - Spouse Support / Maintenance

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My concern is that she works for the UN. Does she have diplomatic status? If so I think you need to be divorces under the terms of your home country.
Not necessarily, it depends on the residence of both spouses at the time of divorce, their nationality, and perhaps their length of residency in Switzerland.

However, OP mentions in one post that he is not a resident of CH, which indicates he is perhaps living in France, which would make most of the dicussion on divorce in CH not very relevant to him anyhow.
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