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Everything You Need To Know About Spousal Support In Canada

Spousal support is often a major matter of contention between separated partners. It could sometimes get too messy. Separated partners often feel they are wrongly justified. Some think their former partners are receiving their hard earn money for nothing in return. Consequently, think they are duly entitled to receive a hefty amount of money from their partners each month.

These are some of the major concerns each partner have about Spousal Support In Canada.

The separated partners get confused over spousal support is because it’s not that simple. So we try to explain what are the legal principles behind the spousal support and how the separated partners could get the best spousal support.

What is Spousal Support in Canada | Spousal Partners & Spousal Support Entitlement

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is a legal obligation on a separated partner to provide monetary support to their former partners after their separation or divorce. Spousal support entitlement applies when the married couple separates. Partner support is applicable when the unmarried couple separates. Though these two sounds different, the concept and principles are almost similar.

Are you entitled to Spousal Support?

The discussion bears no fruit if you are not entitled to spousal support. There are three types of entitlements to spousal support defined by the Supreme Court of Canada

  • Contractual Support – When there is an agreement (Prenup, cohabitation, etc.) between the spouses, then one may have to the other due to contractual obligations.
  • Compensatory Support– Spousal support entitlement ensues if one partner forsakes his/her career or earning opportunities to live together.
  • Non-compensatory support– This might occur when one partner faces significant economic hardship after the separation.

How much support should you get?

Now that you prove your spousal support entitlement, the next step is to determine the payable amount. The spousal support payment is often calculated by using the Canadian Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.

The Guidelines measure a range of support based on each spouse’s income. It’s a very complicated calculation. You may use a spousal support calculator, a software designed to calculate spousal support deduction.

However, the court may not follow the guidelines. It may act on its own discretion. 

How long may you receive or pay spousal support?

The next big question is how long one partner has to pay. The spousal support duration depends on the length of the spouse relationship. If it’s a short-term relationship (less than 20 years), then the spousal support duration would be half or full times of the relationship. For example, if you have a 10-year long relationship, then you may have to pay for 10 or 5 years. If you have a long-term relationship (more than 20), then you have to pay for an indefinite time.

Is spousal support in Canada negotiable

Is spousal support negotiable?

Spousal support is a complex subject. There are a lot of things that need to take into consideration before spousal support. That’s why negotiation on spousal support is permitted and is sometimes encouraged. You should take proper advice from an expert divorce lawyer to get the best consultation.

The bottom line

Want to know more about spousal support or alimony. Here are some interesting facts about spousal support in Canada-

  • Marital infidelity has no effect on spousal support.
  • Similarly, any other spousal misconduct will have no effect on spousal support.
  • If you get monthly spousal support, you have to pay tax. But if you receive spousal support at once, you don’t need to pay tax.
  • If the spousal support recipient does not make a reasonable effort to earn, the support money can get reduced.
  • Voluntary spousal support is admirable and often awarded by lowering support money amount.
  • If spousal support payer delays in paying, then he/she might get a penalty.
  • If you have children, then the judge will give priority to child support.

Divorce or separation is a complicated issue, both mentally and financially. There is always a chance to get exploited or not to get the proper support. One wrong move can cost you a fortune. We are here to help you with the best divorce lawyers Alberta or family lawyer Calgary. Feel free to contact us for any divorce-related consultation.

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