Vancouver Spousal Support Post Separation Income Increases cause significant spousal support variation disputes. The child support guidelines mandate annual corrections and you would be wise to have an annual exchange of income information to ensure proper child support is paid when incomes change. Spousal support variations are not automatic and rarely occur annually. The spousal support advisory guidelines “SSAG” use 2 different formulas the “without child” and “with child” formulas. In this blog, spousal support lawyer Fraser MacLean, of our downtown Vancouver office explains when an increase in spousal support will occur when the paying spouse’s income increases after separation. MacLean Law has 6 offices across Western Canada. The following extract is taken from the official government SSAG Publication
Vancouver Spousal Support Post Separation Income Increases More Likely 1 877 602 9900
- With child support cases: in most of these cases, the full increase is likely to be shared given the strongly compensatory nature of the claims, subject to ability to pay. The child/children will, of course, share the full increase via child support, which has priority. These cases are so strong, or so obvious, that the issue is often not even identified. For examples where the issue was addressed, see Hartshorne, above; Ludmer v. Ludmer, 2013 ONSC 784 (upheld 2014 ONCA 827); Remillard v. Remillard, 2014 MBCA 101; H.F. v. M.H., 2014 ONCJ 450; Bujak v. Bujak, 2012 ABQB 458; A.A.M. v. R.P.K., 2010 ONSC 930; S.D.Z. v. T.W.Z., 20122 ABQB 496; and Judd v. Judd, 2010 BCSC 1574 (same employment, promotion included).
- Without child support cases: full sharing is more likely when there is some combination of the following factors:
- long traditional marriages, e.g. Campbell v. Vaughan, 2015 NBQB 110; Anderson v. Sansalone, 2015 BCSC 2; Cork v. Cork, 2014 ONSC 2488;
- medium-length and longer marriages generally, e.g. Farnum v. Farnum, 2010 ONCJ 378 (17 years, both worked throughout, 2 adult children); and Mulick v. Mulick, 2012 ABQB 592.
- strong compensatory claims based on the assumption of primary responsibility for child-rearing
- strong non-compensatory claims, typically in longer marriages
- where prior agreements countenance future increases with income, e.g. O’Grady v. O’Grady, 2010 ABCA 109.
- support/cohabitation during education or training, e.g. Pendleton v. Pendleton, 2010 BCSC 1167 (10 years married, also two moves for his career, no kids).
- payor continuing in same job or line of work after separation, e.g. MacDonald v. Langley, 2014 ONCJ 448.
- claims that were previous constrained by limited ability to pay
- income increases shortly after separation, e.g. H.F. v. M.H., 2014 ONCJ 450.
Vancouver Spousal Support Post Separation Income Increases Less Likely 1 877 602 9900
- Without child support cases involving:
- solely non-compensatory claims based upon loss of the marital standard of living, e.g. R.L. v. L.A.B., 2013 PESC 24 (payor’s income increased for inflation only)
- short-to-medium marriages
- significant changes in career/employment, e.g. Reid v. Gillingham, 2014 NBQB 79 (upheld 2015 NBCA 27)(although in this case we might have expected some limited sharing even on non-compensatory grounds after a long marriage); Tscherner v. Farrell, 2014 ONSC 976 (husband injured, retrained as radiation technologist, working long hours); McDougall v. Alger, 2013 BCSC 1925 (shift from accounting to business, only limited sharing, despite wife’s previous assistance with career); Whitmore v. Whitmore, 2012 BCSC 212; and Patton-Casse v. Casse, 2011 ONSC 4424 (upheld 2012 ONCA 709)(new venture)
- more work or much harder work in foreign or remote locations, e.g. Black v. Black, 2015 NBCA 63 (8 year marriage, non-compensatory, construction business failed after separation, working in Nunavut); L.A.H. v. B.D.H., 2014 BCPC 184; and Coghill v. Michalko, 2010 ABQB 59 (overtime, retention bonuses)
- greater risk-taking, business acumen, e.g. Frank v. Linn, 2014 SKCA 87 (increase due to business reorganization, demanding test applied) and Aelbers v Aelbers, 2010 BCSC 1574
- income increase long after separation.
- with child support cases:
- custodial payor cases where the above factors are at work, e.g. Thompson, above (17 years, custodial payor for much of time, non-compensatory claim by husband, but same reasoning applied where shifted to hybrid custody).
Vancouver Spousal Support
We know Vancouver Spousal Support Post Separation Income Increases are stressful and complicated so call Fraser MacLean today at 1 877 602 9900