Oshawa Spousal Support Lawyers

When a couple separates, the spouse or partner with the higher income is sometimes obligated to pay money to the spouse or partner with the lower income to balance the financial impact of the separation so that the outcome is fair. This is called “spousal support” (often referred to as alimony). Spousal support is separate from, and goes above and beyond, any obligations for child support.

For couples facing divorce or separation, the amount of spousal support they will receive or will need to provide is often a very pressing concern. At Borden Family Law, our knowledgeable family lawyers can help you decide if spousal support is appropriate, how much is reasonable, and for how long it should be paid.

Spousal Support in Ontario

Spousal support is available to both common-law and married couples. In addition, contrary to popular belief, spousal support is payable to both men and women: it is not just ex-husbands who pay spousal support to ex-wives; the reverse can also be true. Similarly, same-sex ex-partners can also be obligated to pay spousal support.

If you and your former partner or spouse cannot come to an agreement with respect to spousal support, you may request to have a judge determine the appropriate amount. The Court may order a spouse to pay spousal support under either the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act.  Both statutes set out criteria which are intended to guide the court in its award.

When determining whether spousal support is appropriate and the amount of spousal support, there are three important questions that must first be answered:

  1. Is either spouse entitled to spousal support?
  2. If so, how much support is she/he entitled to per month?
  3. And for how long will spousal support be paid?

Among the factors to be considered:

  • The education and employment skills of the spouses;
  • Respective incomes of the parties;
  • The physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking spousal support;
  • The standard of living of the parties during the marriage or cohabitation;
  • The duration of the marriage or cohabitation;
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to meet his/her own needs;
  • The functions performed by each spouse during the relationship;
  • The ages of both parties;
  • The ability to be self-sufficient.

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) were created in an effort to make spousal support in Ontario more consistent and predictable. The SSAG suggest approximate ranges of support in a variety of situations for spouses who are entitled to receive support.

The SSAG are not legally binding, however, they do provide guidance to judges making decisions about spousal support.  Ultimately, every case is decided differently in this regard. Spousal support is a complex area of family law and is very fact-specific.  There is really no set formula that is applicable in every single instance, so the answer to the big three questions always comes down to the unique facts of each case.

Knowledgeable and Strategic Oshawa Family Lawyers Advising Client on Spousal Support Matters

At Borden Family Law, we have been advising clients on spousal support and related matters for 17 years. Our practice is focused solely on family law, and over the years we have built a strong base of knowledge and experience in the nuances and specificities of separation, divorce, and related matters such as support issues. We rely on this focused experience to provide exceptional guidance to clients seeking assistance following the breakdown of their relationship. We serve clients in Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Brooklin, and the surrounding areas. To see how we can help you resolve your issue, call us at 905-576-6090 or contact us online.