The objectives of spousal support are to recognize the economic advantages and disadvantages to the spouses due to the breakdown of the relationship and to promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse.
Spousal support is based on one spouses’ need for economic support and the other spouses’ ability to pay. There are two types of spousal support: compensatory and non-compensatory. Compensatory spousal support recognizes sacrifices made by one spouse in assuming the primary duties of childcare and household responsibilities which resulted in a lower income earning potential. Non-compensatory spousal support recognizes that one spouse may be economically disadvantaged by the breakdown of the marriage and the burden of meeting the needs of that spouse should fall on the former spouse.
The Spousal Support Guidelines provide formulas to calculate spousal support for spouses with children and in circumstances where there are no children. They determine a range of spousal support payable for a duration based on the length of the relationship however, the actual amount of spousal support payable will generally be determined by the factual circumstances of each particular case.
In determining whether spousal support should be payable the court will consider several factors including:
The length of time the parties were together;
The functions performed by each spouse;
Standard of living during the relationship and after its breakdown;
Roles of the spouses during the relationship;
The number of children and their dependency;
Income of the spouses including generating capacity; and
Any existing order or agreement between the spouses with respect to support.
The amount of spousal support payable will vary depending on the facts of each case. To determine the appropriate amount of spousal support in your case and consequences of that payment i.e. tax consequences, it is best to consult a lawyer.
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