How Is Spousal Support Calculated?

Written by Carpenter Family Law On December 14, 2018

How Is Spousal Support Calculated?

There are many reasons why it’s difficult to separate from your partner. Emotionally and legally, there is a lot of baggage to work through. Unfortunately, attempting to navigate the legal guidelines that exist can add additional stress and pose challenges for many couples.

Spousal support is one of the areas that couples often struggle to understand. Whether you are trying to understand what spousal support is, are interested in the current guidelines surrounding the issue, or need assistance calculating spousal support – this article is for you.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support is a pre-determined amount of money that one spouse pays to the other spouse after they separate. Spousal support ensures that all parties are financially supported following a separation. The purpose of spousal support is to ensure that both partners have enough support to build a new future, independent of the marriage. It is the right of a spouse who earns less income to receive equitable support.

You may have heard the term “alimony” used when referring to spousal support, but it is important to note that the proper term to use is spousal support.

When is spousal support required?

The necessity of spousal support is determined in relation to different factors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether both spouses were able to generate income during and/or after the marriage
  • Whether a spouse is taking primary care of children, (in addition to child support)
  • Whether a spouse requires additional financial assistance because of the marriage breakdown, (i.e.: to purchase a new home, furniture, a vehicle, etc.)

When determining the need for spousal support and calculating the amount that will be allotted, the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • Financial means
  • Immediate needs and circumstances

How is spousal support calculated?

Spousal support is calculated based on a variety of factors, including:

  • The length of time the spouses lived together
  • The roles of each spouse during the marriage
  • The impact of the marriage breakdown on each spouse’s current financial position
  • Childcare responsibilities
  • Any previous arrangements

Typically speaking, unless other arrangements are made due to unique circumstances, spousal support is usually paid by the spouse with a higher income to the other spouse.

Reaching an agreement

Depending on the nature of the separation, it can be challenging to reach an agreement about spousal support. We take each of our cases very seriously and strive to reach the best agreement possible for all parties involved. Ideally, we aim to mediate the situation to help couples work together. A decision reached together is more likely to satisfy both spouses and leave everyone in a better position moving forward.

Please feel free to contact the team at Carpenter Law for assistance. We can make it easy for you.

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