Spousal support recognizes the potential disparity between the incomes of both spouses prior to separation. These cases recognize that one spouse may have been financially supporting the other during the course of the relationship, and assigns spousal support to assist the partner with the lower income. The amount of spousal support determined by the court may be calculated based on past earnings of the financially dominant partner, along with an assessment of what that person is likely to be making in the future.
There are obligations on both parties with respect to spousal support. The person who is receiving the spousal support is expected to make reasonable steps to obtain employment and become economically self-sufficient. Spousal support orders can be limited by time, in that the courts may give the recipient of the spousal support a period of time to become self-sufficient. The person who is paying the spousal support, has an obligation to notify the other party if their financial circumstances change.
When assigning spousal support, the courts are tasked with considering the financial means and needs of both spouses, the length of the marriage, the roles of each spouse during the marriage, how those roles have changed since separation, who cares for the children, and whether a spouse receiving support is attempting to be self-sufficient. Spousal support recognizes that one of its intentions is to provide compensation for the spouse who sacrificed earning ability during the marriage, and to ensure that no party is left in financial need if the other has means to pay.
To obtain spousal support, you will either need an agreement signed by both parties or a court order. Whether you are seeking to obtain spousal support or you are in a position that spousal support amounts must recalculated, the family law lawyers at Acumen Law are here to help. For a free consultation, call 250-384-0100 (Victoria) or 604-685-8889 (Vancouver).