Whether you call it alimony, maintenance or spousal support, it is common for separating spouses to either pay or receive money to help cover living expenses. For some couples who have similar incomes when they separate, no spousal support is paid. Even for those spouses who have a disparity in their incomes, spousal support may also not be paid.
This really depends on a long list of legal factors such as the years of cohabitation and marriage, the age of the spouses, their standard of living, each spouse's needs and budget and what sacrifices each spouse made or the benefits received from the relationship.
The purpose of spousal support is to compensate the spouse with the lower income for economic sacrifices made during the relationship such as child birth, full-time care of children or withdrawal from the workforce. Spousal support is paid to help a spouse who is in financial need where the other spouse has the ability to pay.
Spousal support laws are found both in the federal Divorce Act and in the provincial Family Law Act. The Divorce Act does not apply to unmarried spouses. Although the laws are similar, there are nuances that differ.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to questions on spousal support. Every family is different. Finances during divorce can become complex. Given our 30 years of experience, we can provide you with advice and a professional opinion on whether you are entitled to support, and if so, how much and for how long. In some cases, a lump-sum of spousal support is the right choice for both spouses.
Ensure your rights are protected. At Benmor Family Law Group, Steve Benmor and his team of divorce experts will assess your case with your unique needs and situation.