How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Today, Top BC spousal support lawyer and winner of some of BC’s largest spousal and child support award cases, Lorne N MacLean, QC explains how BC spousal support is decided and what legal arguments work best.
Lorne N MacLean, QC has earned a reputation as obtaining some of the highest BC spousal and child support awards including one case approaching $100,000 per month in combined support and today you can have his advice for free on these key questions:
- How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Three Step Process Involved
- How Much BC Spousal Support Will I Get?
- What Factors Are Looked At For BC Spousal Support?
- How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Final Takeaways
How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Three Step Process Involved
BC spousal support, which is money paid after separation by a former spouse to their ex-spouse, requires a three step process:
1. A finding you have entitlement to BC Spousal Support based on a contactual (like prenuptial contracts), compensatory (like I gave something up for my spouse to advance their career) or non compensatory (like Robin Hood in a way but more principled where someone has needs and the other has an ability to pay. We call this ENTITLEMENT.
2. If you are entitled to BC spousal support then a judge has to decide how much a month should be paid taking into account the tax deduction available to the paying spouse and the tax payable by the receiving spouse. We call this QUANTUM.
3. Finally, if you are entitled and you get a monthly BC spousal support, payment a judge has to decide how long the spousal support should last. We call this DURATION.
How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? How Much BC Spousal Support Will I Get?
There are two different formulas for BC spousal support called:
a) the “with child BC spousal support formula”; and
b) the “without child support formula”.
For free general info click here. These 2 formulas deserve their own blog which will be published next week. In simple terms the presence of children in a marriage will most likely increase the amount and duration of spousal support in short marriages and medium length marriages. The longer your marriage the more support will be paid and it will be paid for longer. As British Columbians live and work longer grey divorce support cases are on the rise.
How Is BC Spousal Support Decided?-What Factors Are Looked At For BC Spousal Support?
For today, let’s focus on what factors increase or decrease the monthly payments of BC spousal support:
- strength of any compensatory claim, what career options were given up, work school, did someone move and sacrifice their career to advance their partner?
- recipient’s needs – the greater the disparity in income and lifestyle the higher the support can be
- age, number, needs and standard of living of children (if any)
- needs and ability to pay of payor-the closer the incomes of the spouses the lesser the BC spousal support
- work incentives for payor – setting a realistic payment based on the SSAG is the key to fairness
- property division and debts – property awards over $4 million can start to reduce support and awards of over 10 million mean BC spousal support might not be payable. Conversely, if there are heavy debts that eat up the paying spouse’s disposable income support can be reduced. Hint-Try paying tax deductible spousal support and having the recieving spouse pay have the debts to save money!
- self-sufficiency incentives – lowering support by step down orders where support declines annually, may help give the recipient spouse the incentive to get back into the work force and work toward self sufficiency if it is realistic.
How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Final Takeaways
Self sufficiency might mean equalization of incomes in long marriages but other cases have denied spousal support in shorter marriages even if there is a huge disparity in the two incomes of the spouses. Shared parenting can impact spousal support too so sharing the burden of raising children can help your spouse get back into the work force so children can have a better lifestyle.
Interestingly, more recent BC spousal support cases are looking more at encouraging self sufficiency. We think ensuring paying spouses continue to earn to their capacity and encouraging recipient spouses to diligently retrain and get back into the work force makes Canadian families and our nation in turn all the stronger.
Check out the great video on BC Spousal Support by Lorne MacLean, QC.
If you want answers to the question: How Is BC Spousal Support Decided? Call Top Choice Awards Best Vancouver Family Lawyers today toll free across BC at 1-877-602-9900. Click here to meet with us in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Fort St John, Calgary or Richmond.