Spousal Support

Spousal Support is not ‘automatic’ like child support, and is usually significantly more complex.

Scroll to the bottom to use a free child and spousal support calculator.

There is no automatic entitlement to spousal support, nor a right to be “maintained in the lifestyle that they have been accustomed to” as the US televisions shows talk about. If that was true, then the other person after paying, wouldn’t have the same lifestyle they were accustomed to – and they could then claim support from the first person.

The Court may order one spouse to pay the other if one has suffered an economic disadvantage, or the other has an economic benefit, that came from the marriage or its breakdown.

The court may also order spousal support to assist the one spouse in becoming self sufficient.

Spousal support structured as a fixed monthly amount for a fixed term, a lump sum, a monthly amount that is reviewed periodically or when there is a major change in circumstances, or other method if you choose. You may also both waive any right to spousal support now and in the future, regardless of what happens to you.

If the court was to order spousal support, it must consider the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse, including the length of time they lived together AND the work each spouse performed while they were living together.  Condition of the spouse includes such things like the health of the spouse.  The means of the spouse refers to the spouse’s ability to support themselves without assistance.

Having committed adultery by either spouse does not change spousal support.

Unlike child support guidelines which must be followed, the spousal support guidelines are exactly that – a framework to help divorcing couples and professionals to understand how certain ‘rules of thumb’ could be used to address the issues of how much support per month (known as quantum), and for how long (duration). There is some room to negotiate between couples, but an agreement must be reached to avoid going to trial.

Monthly payments are normally tax deductible for the payor, and taxable to the payee.

There is a ‘dumb’ spousal support calculator that uses a formula to generate a range of support values. It doesn’t’ know anything about you and your circumstances. The values it produces may be applicable to your situation or wildly inappropriate. You can access it by clicking *here*.