In British Columbia, couples who are married and separating, are already divorced, have cohabitated in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years, or have a child together may be entitled to receive or required to pay spousal support. Partners in these situations are referred to as “spouses”, whether or not the couple was married. Our family law lawyers can assist you in determining if you or your spouse is entitled to spousal support, if you are going to receive/pay spousal support, and if so, how much.
An important factor in determining spousal support is calculation of each spouse’s income. For employees this is more straightforward, but it can become complicated for people who have fluctuating income due to self-employment or a number of other scenarios. Regardless of your situation, the family law lawyers at Horne Coupar LLP are ready to assist you.
The purpose of spousal support is to:
- recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses arising from the relationship between the spouses or the breakdown of that relationship;
- apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising from the care of their child(ren), beyond the duty to provide support for the child(ren);
- relieve any economic hardship of the spouses arising from the breakdown of the relationship between the spouses; and
- as far as practicable, to promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period of time.
When determining spousal support, the Court will consider:
- the length of cohabitation;
- the functions performed by each spouse during the period they lived together; and
- any agreement between the spouses, or an order, relating to the support of either spouse.
The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines must also be considered when determining the appropriate amount and duration of spousal support. Our family law lawyers are skilled at conducting this analysis using all the relevant factors and working to achieve a desirable outcome. When an agreement has been reached, our family law lawyers will ensure that the terms are clearly articulated in a separation agreement or Court Order.