Family Law...Spousal Support

Angela Walker – October 2015

When a relationship breaks down, one spouse may need to provide the other spouse with spousal support if there is a difference in the spouses’ incomes. Unlike child support, there is no automatic right to receive spousal support. The recipient must first establish that he or she is entitled to receive support before determining how much support may be paid and for how long.

There are two main ways a spouse can establish entitlement: (1) to help meet budgetary needs to maintain a standard living that is somewhat similar to what was enjoyed during the marriage (non-compensatory support); and/or (2) to compensate the recipient for choices made during the marriage which had a financial impact to the recipient, such as leaving the workforce to raise children (compensatory support). In many cases, a recipient spouse may be entitled to receive spousal support for both reasons.

The following is a list of the some of the factors that are considered when assessing whether  a spouse is entitled to  support:

Each case is unique. Spousal support is a complicated area of the law.

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