Spousal support awards are designed to share the effects of a relationship (whether married or common law) on the income generating capacity of the partners.

The basis of spousal support can be:

  • Compensatory – to ensure that a party is adequately compensated for the career sacrifices made on account of that party’s role in the family. This can often take into account child care and other domestic responsibilities.
  • Needs Based – to ensure that a party is not left destitute if the other party retains all the income generating capacity of the couple upon relationship breakdown.

The amount of support depends on relative incomes of the parties as well as the circumstances of a particular case. The duration of support will depend on other factors such as the length of the relationship, and whether a party will continue to suffer reduced income generating capacity on account of age, child care responsibilities, or other factors.

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines provide a useful starting point to calculate potential support entitlement. Click here to determine potential child support obligations.

Spousal support may be paid on an ongoing basis or by lump sum. Each option has different tax consequences for both parties.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about spousal support.