SPOUSAL SUPPORT LAWYERS
If you landed on this page, you may require the assistance of a spousal support lawyer in Toronto. Rely on Gottlieb Law Firm when you demand excellence, commitment and experience.
Spousal support is the money that one spouse may have to pay to the other spouse for their financial support following a separation or divorce. It is usually paid on a monthly basis, but it can be paid as a lump sum.
Under section 30 of the Family Law Act, every spouse has an obligation to provide support for the other spouse in accordance with need, to the extent that he or she is capable of doing so.
A spouse may have to pay spousal support if such payment meets one or more of the main purposes of spousal support set out in the Divorce Act, which are as follows:
To compensate a spouse who sacrifices his or her ability to earn income during the marriage;
To compensate a spouse for the ongoing care of children, over and above any child support obligation; or
To help a spouse in financial need arising from the breakdown of the marriage.
At the same time, spouses who receive support have an obligation to become self-supporting where reasonable.
When a married couple divorces, either spouse can ask for spousal support under the Family Law Act or Divorce Act. In most cases, spousal support is requested by the spouse with the lower income. In each case, a judge must consider several factors to determine if spousal support should be paid, including:
The financial means, needs and circumstances of both spouses;
The length of time the spouses have lived together;
The roles of each spouse during their marriage;
The effect of those roles and the breakdown of the marriage on both spouses’ current financial positions;
The ongoing responsibilities for care of the children, if any;
Any previous orders, agreements or arrangements already made about spousal support.
The calculation of spousal support is one of the most complex areas of family law. Many factors need to be considered to determine an amount that is fair and reasonable in each case. Most Canadian courts and family law professionals use the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines to guide the calculation of spousal support. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are available for anyone to consult. However, since calculating spousal support is so complex, and it is rare that a lay person could do this successfully. Our experienced spousal support lawyers in Toronto do this well.
In many cases, people pay both child and spousal support at the same time. However, the Divorce Act prioritizes the payment of child support. This means that in cases where there is not enough money for a person to pay both child and spousal support, money is directed toward paying child support first.
The duration of support will be based on the facts of the case, such as the length of time the spouses lived together, or their ages at the time of separation. In some cases, spousal support may only be paid for a limited amount of time. In other cases, spousal support may continue unless there is a change in circumstances and the court makes a different order or the agreement is updated to reflect the change. These factors are complex. Gottlieb Law Firm will manage them for you.
A court may only change a spousal support order when justified by an important change in the circumstances of either spouse. For e.g. if the support payor loses his or her job after the support order was made and he or she can no longer pay the amount that was ordered, a court may then decide that the support order should be changed.
Because spousal support is so very complex, it is usually best for individuals to get advice from our experienced spousal support lawyers in Toronto who can set realistic expectations and get the orders or arguments you require to secure your rights or defend unreasonable/outlandish requests by a difficult spouse.