Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers

You may wonder if you are entitled to spousal support or if you are required to pay spousal support.  Many factors will affect this decision which will be discussed later on this page.  If you have any questions or immediate concerns, please feel free to call our office and book an appointment with our Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers at (403) 476 – 2011 or book a consultation online here.

What is Spousal Support?

The court may order spousal support when one or both of the partners apply for a divorce.  It may also become applicable when the partners have ended an Adult Interdependent Relationship.

To be in an Adult Interdependent Relationship, you will need to fall under one or more of the following:

  • If both adults are in a relationship for more than 3 years
  • Less than 3 years if you have signed an Adult Interdependent Relationship Agreement
  • Less than 3 years if the two of you have had a child or children

The purpose of spousal support is not to punish or reward either of the partners.  Instead, it is used as a mechanism to balance the economic advantages or disadvantages of either of the spouses after or during the period of their separation/divorce. The objective of a spousal support is to reduce the economic hardships for the spouses after a marriage and offer the spouses adequate time to support themselves in the future.

What are the factors affecting Spousal Support

Based on the federal Divorce Act, spousal support is most likely paid when there is a substantial difference between the spouse’s income after they separate.  This may not be the primary and conclusive factor when deciding spousal support.  If one of the spouses holds more assets than the others then it may also affect the issue of spousal support.

As stated by the Government of Canada Department of Justice, other factors a judge may consider that can affect spousal support may include:

1. The financial means and needs of both spouses;

2. The length of the marriage;

3.  The roles of each spouse during their marriage;

4. The effect of those roles and the breakdown of the marriage on both spouses’ current financial situations;

5. The care of the children;

6.  The goal of encouraging a spouse who receives support to be self-sufficient in a reasonable period; and

7.  Any orders, agreements or arrangements already made about spousal support”

Since Canada has a no-fault divorce law, the reason the marriage ended will not affect the legal requirement of the former spouse to support the other.

Paying Both Child Support and Spousal Support

If child support is being paid alongside with spousal support, the judge will consider whether or not the payments of spousal support will affect the child support payment in any way.  Child support will always have the highest priority compared to spousal support.  This will be an essential consideration for the judge when deciding how much you are legally obligated to pay.  

How much Spousal Support do I need to pay?

The judge will determine if one of the spouses will require (or entitled to) spousal support.  If one of them does need spousal support, the factors above will be considered.  The payment amount will be based on how long the relationship lasted for, the difference in income levels and whether or not any children were involved.

The calculations of spousal support are complex and require an evaluation of the current circumstances at hand.  If you want an estimate of your spousal support payment, this calculator will give you some idea; however, the Court is not bound by such calculation.  

We strongly suggest you meet with our Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers to help you and to find the best outcome.  For more information please call us at (403) 476-2011 or book a consultation online.  

About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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