Toronto Spousal Support Lawyers

Spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other after the parties separate, for the maintenance of the spouse that qualifies for spousal support. Sometimes and in some other countries the term “spousal support” is called “alimony” or “maintenance”

Spousal Support is a tricky concept and claimants often believe that spousal support is an automatic entitlement under family law. It is not automatic and there are requirements for the qualification of spousal support. The concept of spousal support most certainly requires the assistance of a lawyer, in order to determine if one qualifies as a recipient of spousal support, or if one is obligated to pay spousal support at all.

In order to qualify for spousal support, the law will look at whether an individual is “entitled” to support in the first place. That is the key to the qualification. There are various factors that lawyers will look at to determine whether a spousal support candidate is entitled to spousal support. Some factors considered may be “Compensatory” factors which address the “condition, means, needs and other circumstances”. As an example, this could relate to the spouse raising the kids in the household for a number of years without working, and the other spouse advancing their career. The law would look to the functions performed by each spouse during cohabitation or marriage. Other factors could be “Non-Compensatory” factors where the reason for the support is to relieve economic hardship of the spouses arising from the breakdown of the marriage, and to allow to promote self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period. For example, this could relate to the person whom, prior to the breakdown of the marriage had the support of the other for a number of years but now finds themselves without such a support, or one which may suffer health disadvantages.

Once the issue of “entitlement” is determined and a lawyer deems it appropriate to make a claim for spousal support, the law looks to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines for the amount of support, either monthly or in a lump sum, which the support payor would be obligated to pay.

The exercise of determining the entitlement to spousal support, and then the amount of spousal support payable is a very complicated exercise and requires advice from a lawyer with significant experience in family law and spousal support related cases. Call us today for a discussion related to your spousal support needs with one of our Toronto Spousal Support lawyers.