Spousal Support

Spousal relationships in the eyes of the law are considered financial partnerships. When the partnership breaks down, the spouse with the greater assets or income will be required to pay support to the other. The potential obligation to pay spousal support arises in the separation of a marital or common law relationship. Exceptions to whether spousal support is required to be paid to common law spouses are where the spouses have lived together for less than 3 years or they do not have any children together and there may be some exceptions to this as well.

Every adult person has an obligation to support themselves to the best of their ability. The obligation to pay spousal support after a separation as well as the amount of support that may be awarded is based on the financial needs of the spouse requesting support, and on the ability of the person against from whom support is being claimed. There are a number of factors that the court will consider when determining the amount of support. The lifestyle the parties enjoyed while they lived together and the extent to which the relationship and child care responsibilities caused one of them to give up employment opportunities are examples of factors considered by the court.

Somewhat like child support, guidelines for spousal support have been developed. They are used to provide a range of spousal support and are helpful to the parties and the Courts in trying to strike a balance between the parties' incomes and needs. There are several variables which makes the determination of spousal support challenging. A consultation with one of our family law lawyers, early on in the process, is usually helpful in planning your options.