If you are splitting up from your partner, you may be wondering about spousal support. Whether it would mean you’d be on the giving end or the receiving end of it, it’s imperative to learn all you can about spousal support if there’s a possibility you may be involved in it. Spousal support generally turns into a major focal point of contention if it is in the equation.
What is Spousal Support?
Also referred to as alimony or partner support, spousal support is the money that is paid to your former partner or is paid to you if the court rules in favor of it. The funds allotted are designed to help the party who makes the least income or no income at all make ends meet for a pre-set length of time. There are legal principles that determine and define who does and doesn’t qualify for spousal support.
Spousal support becomes a current issue when two married people separate or when unmarried partners living together as a couple separate. The basic principles are the same for those who are legally married and those who are living together as committed couples.
How Spousal Support is Determined
Entitlement has to be proven in order for a spouse to be awarded the support. It has been deemed by the Supreme Court of Canada there are three separate entitlements and one of them must be met in order for spousal support to be granted. Those conditions are:
- Contractual Support: A contractual support is when an agreement has been made such as separation, cohabitation, or prenuptial which states that one of the spouses is to be the recipient of support.
- Compensatory Support: When one person in the relationship has forfeited acquiring an education, having a career, or has forgone any earning opportunity in order to fulfill a role in the relationship, it is agreed that the individual should not be punished or bear the disproportionate financial load as a direct result from their position in the relationship.
- Non-compensatory Support: If one person in the relationship would experience a serious decrease in their standard of living if the relationship discontinues, it is considered that the other individual in the relationship is responsible for compensating the necessary funds to correct the difference.
Amount and Duration
In the event spousal support is determined, the quantum amount will be set. The calculation is made using the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines that looks at each parties’ income and other factors. The Court, however, has the authority to rule on the low, middle, or upper end from the suggested range. They also have the power to figure in other factors such as health.
The length of time spousal support is to be paid is also determined by the Court. If the couple owns property and there is a good amount of equity, the partner who is due the spousal support may be given the property and the support be adjusted. Spousal support can be a lump payoff or divided into payments. The support is tax deductible when it’s paid out over a period of time.
Especially since the amount and duration are not set in stone, a divorce attorney can make a major difference in the outcome of the rulings. How your case is presented to the Court can save or cost you a fortune. Retaining the legal services like those of Jiwa Law Corporation is highly advised.