Helpful Details About the Spousal Support Law – Guest Post

Spousal Support Law

Spousal support or alimony is payable to one-half of a couple when their marriage breaks down. The higher earner among the two pays the other if one demands it. Also, Section 33 of the Family Law Act and section 15 of the Divorce Act make it mandatory to pay alimony. The act states that ‘one-half of the partnership is ordered to provide financial support to spouse and dependents.’ The term one half is the spouse once legally married or recognized as a partnership under common law.

The common law states that the couple must prove that they lived together for a minimum of three years. If children are involved, then there is no cohabitation period. The rules apply to all couples, including same-sexes.

Need for Spousal Support 

Spousal support ensures that relationship contribution is recognized. It means that if one spouse is not working and cannot financially support, they must receive money from the working partner to help run their lives. The money supports them and their dependents. Else, they will experience financial hardships.

The Criteria to Receive Support 

Unless certain eligibilities get fulfilled, one does not automatically receive spousal support. The couples need to reach a mutual agreement. If they do so, the courts do not need to intervene. However, as support is crucial to one-half who need to maintain their current standard of living, a fair deal must be made. That is possible with a judge’s ruling.

To receive the Compensatory spousal support, the partner must show that they stayed at home to look after the children or supported the partner in pursuing their career at the time of marriage. It shows the responsibility and opportunity left out by one-half.

Non-compensatory spousal support applies when the relationship breakdowns and there are inadequate funds to support oneself, but the partner is financially secure enough to support you. This is needs-based support.

Contractual spousal support is the agreement made before the marriage or partnership that details the spousal support in case the couple separates in the future. This is the cohabitation agreement or marriage contract where the partners must pay their respective support.

How Much Support Amount is Required to Be Paid?  

When no contractual spousal agreement states how much spousal support is to be paid, the courts will decide on the matter. Specific Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines define how much financial support should be given and for what duration. The decision belongs to the judge.

How Does The Court decide on Spousal Support Matters? 

When the courts are deicing on the spousal support, they consider the following factors:

  • The period of the relationship (days, weeks, years).
  • Did the couple have children?
  • The income of the spouse.
  • The age of the spouse.
  • The role performed by both spouses at the time of marriage.
  • Any health issues with the spouses.
  • Whether the spouse has the financial ability to support themselves.

Higher payment is made part of the spousal support when there’s a big difference between the spouses’ incomes. Also, the involvement of the children and the partners living together for a long time is considered. Such factors decide how long the support money will be paid for. Shorter relationships and incomes call for a short period of spousal support payment. One can use an online calculator to consider the essential figures. To get more in-depth details about spousal support, you must take professional help from a spousal support lawyer. They have expert knowledge about family law and can provide an accurate estimate.

The Period of Spousal Support Payment

Unless the mitigating factors of illness and disability are considered, the court will set the duration from which the payments must be made. It becomes the duty of the ex-spouse to make payments on time. The length of spousal support payments is based on the spousal support advisory guidelines.

Can the Spousal Support Terms be Renegotiated?

A judge’s order to pay spousal support can be renegotiated upon granting the motion to change. The motion is made under certain circumstances, like the spouse who pays the spousal support loses their job or ability to earn money. This is an unexpected situation. Remarriage, retirement, illness, or disability can affect a spouse’s ability to make spousal payments.

Learning the details related to spousal support teaches that you must take the help of a spousal support lawyer. They can get you the necessary court order who can prevent you from future disputes. A spousal support lawyer will best serve your interests and will draw up a legal contract. They will advise you of your legal rights and obligations to spousal support. They will ensure that you receive the spousal support payments fully and on the set date. Discuss your need with a family law lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t mess with your life and those who depend on you.

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