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Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers

The best Calgary spousal support lawyers know Calgary and the rest of Alberta have never seen more financial turbulence. Our senior lawyers are amongst the best Calgary spousal support lawyers and we act throughout Alberta. Call us toll-free at 1 877 602 9900. With COVID -19 and oil prices slumping, finances for paying receiving spouses are tight and applications for spousal support in the first instance, or to correct support to fair levels, are on the rise. The best Calgary spousal support lawyers fully understand that the slow down in the oil patch has been catastrophic and the fires and now floods in Fort McMurray are even worse both personally and economically. Hiring one of the best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers can help you avoid a perfect legal storm.

Don’t Delay Correcting Spousal Support

Our Calgary spousal support lawyers also warn that a failure to act promptly by either spouse to vary to correct and reduce spousal and child support when one loses their job is crucial to avoid an unfair result. First of all allowing arrears to build up may mean they aren’t cancelled and allowing an unfair amount of spousal support to remain unchanged is just wrong. Similarly, not pursuing a spouse for increased support may mean you lose out on proper support.

Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers Tips 1 877 602 9900

Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers

So what are the Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers tips for how spousal support works?  Lorne MacLean, QC founded of MacLean Law explains the general principles a court looks at:

Federal Laws

The Divorce Act (Canada) says that when making a spousal support order, the court must think about the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse, and spousal support can be payable if there is “compensatory” ( someone suffered economic disadvantage from their role in the marriage or its breakdown) or “needs based” in the sense of someone needing support to meet their expenses after separation. including:

  1. how long the spouses lived together ( the longer the marriage the more likely the award will be large and for not set time limit);
  2. the functions performed by each spouse during the time they lived together ( in traditional marriages if one spouse gives up a career to stay at home and one spouse id the breadwinner spousal support is likely; and
  3. any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse. ( you can try to contract out of spousal support in marriage or separation agreements)

Alberta Laws

The Family Law Act also lists the above factors. However, that Act also tells the judge to think about these factors:

  1. whether or not either of the spouses / partners have a legal obligation to support another person (e.g. another spouse or children);
  2. if the paying spouse / partner lives with someone else, how much that person contributes to their household expenses (and by doing that, increases the ability to pay support); and
  3. if the recipient spouse / partner lives with someone else, how much that person contributes to their household expenses (and by doing so, decreases the financial need).

Contrary to popular belief, The presence of a new partner for either ex-spouse does not automatically end spousal support.

Spousal Support Factors From Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines

In addition, if liability to pay spousal support is established the Courts must consider the factors for spousal support to determine a fair amount in the range:

  • strength of any compensatory claim
  • recipient’s needs
  • age, number, needs and standard of living of children (if any)
  • needs and ability to pay of payor 46
  • work incentives for payor
  • property division and debts
  • self-sufficiency incentives

Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers 1 877 602 9900

The MacLean Law Calgary spousal support lawyers also know these tough economic times mean paying spouses have had their earnings vaporize or at a minimum diminished dramatically. Our highly skilled Calgary spousal support lawyers act for medium to high net worth Calgary executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Our Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers fully understand the special complexities of a medium to high net worth spousal support claim.

Our Calgary spousal support lawyers know that in medium to high net worth spousal support cases the stakes are high on complex issues such as:

  • $350,000 cap exception for high-income earners;
  • self-sufficiency objectives for recipient spouses;
  • whether there is shared custody or split custody of the children;
  • repartnering;
  • retirement;
  • loss of a job or layoffs
  • dramatic declines in incomes of the payor or recipient
  • double-dipping on company and pension income
  • how capital assets factor into spousal support

Alberta Alimony Lawyers – Who Pays Support?

The Alberta Government Information Booklet provides a tidy summary of the basic principles of how the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act govern spousal support when combined with the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Their website is chock full of good information. Remember, consulting a top Calgary family lawyer is always wise to help avoid a bad outcome.

You are in an Adult Interdependent Relationship if you are in a relationship of interdependence with another adult

  • for three years; or
  • for less than 3 years if you have signed an Adult Interdependent Partnership agreement; or
  • for less than 3 years if the two of you have a child together.

Both the Divorce Act (Canada) and the Family Law Act discuss the objectives of a spousal support order; in other words, the purpose of a spousal support order. The objectives are to:

  • recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses coming out of the marriage or occurring because the marriage has ended;
  • divide up any financial costs arising from the care of the children over and above the child support;
  • lessen any financial hardship of the spouses which may have taken place because of the end of the marriage; and
  • as much as possible, encourage the spouses to become able to support themselves within a reasonable period of time

How Do Spousal Support Formulas Work?

Canada created Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines in 2006 which set out 2 formulas to guide judges in making spousal support awards IF ENTITLEMENT IS ESTABLISHED:

  • The Without Children Formula
  • If the parties do not have children, or if the children are all grown, then the Without Children formula applies. This formula will give a “low end” and a “high end” amount.
  • °  if the paying spouse / partner lives with someone else, how much that person contributes to their household expenses (and by doing that, increases the ability to pay support); and
  • °  if the recipient spouse / partner lives with someone else, how much that person contributes to their household expenses (and by doing so, decreases the financial need).
  • The With Children Formula
  • When parties have dependent children, the formula for calculating spousal support is more complicated, and one must use special software. In general terms, the formula calculates the net disposable incomes of each party, after paying taxes, deductions and the children’s costs, and then calculates the amounts of spousal support to be paid that would leave the recipient with between 40 and 46% of the total of the two parties’ net disposable incomes.
  • There are variations to this formula if there is shared or split custody, or if the children live with the party who will be paying the spousal support.

When there are no children, the Spousal Support Guidelines say that support should continue the support should continue for between .5 and 1 year for each year that the parties lived together.

If parties lived together for more than 20 years, or if you add the years of living together to the recipient’s age, and the total is greater than 65, then the support will be paid indefinitely.

When there are children, the Spousal Support Guidelines say that the courts may use the same guidance as above, or, for shorter marriages, they may order that support may end when the youngest child starts school, or when the youngest child finishes school.

Don’t Delay In Correcting Calgary Spousal Support

1 877 602 9900

The best Calgary spousal support lawyers warn that now that many Calgary spousal support paying spouses have suffered catastrophic pay cuts they may be in too much shock to take action to correct the spousal support they are paying to a proper and sustainable level. Failure to act promptly can lead to a very nasty result. You cannot simply reduce or stop paying spousal support after a job loss or pay cut you need to obtain the consent of your spouse and paper it in a court order or amended agreement. If you cannot get prompt cooperation you need to proceed to court. Delay in applying to cancel almost always leads to a refusal to correct the overpayment of support.

In Haisman v Haisman Alberta Court of Appeal 7 R.F.L. (4th) 1 the court pointed out the heavy onus a paying spouse faces when they were too upset by losing their job to promptly apply to reduce support.

Where the past inability to make child  (or spousal) support payments as they came due has lasted for a substantial period of time, but the former spouse did not apply during that time for a variation order, may justify a reduction in support…..A present inability to pay arrears of child support does not by itself justify a variation order. It may justify a suspension of enforcement in relation to the arrears for a limited time, or an order providing for periodic payments on the arrears. However, in the absence of some special circumstance, a variation order should only be considered where the former spouse has established on a balance of probabilities that he or she cannot pay and will not in the future be able to pay the arrears.

The Best Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers know the key takeaway right now is to apply promptly or face negative consequences. Call our Calgary office today toll free at 1 877 602 9900