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Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips

Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips explain what a court looks at in deciding to award support and on what basis support may be awarded. Lorne N. MacLean, QC holds the record for spousal support in BC at $100,000 per month in the 2019 D v. D. The principles for high net worth spousal support show that even in cases where over $ 20,000,000 of property is awarded support may still be ordered. In the new 2020 decision of M.M v. L.M. Justice Hori of the Supreme Court set out a nice summary for spouses going through separation and who have a spousal support disagreement. We hope our Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips help you understand how spousal support cases are settled or decided in court. Our support lawyers work from 7 offices across BC and in Calgary.

Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips – Factors

In this first of a series of Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips we use cases and provide guidance of what the rules are for deciding spousal support cases.

[153]    In her counterclaim, the respondent claims spousal support pursuant to the Divorce Act. Section 15.2 of the Divorce Act provides that a court may make an order requiring one spouse to pay a reasonable amount to the other for support. The factors considered in making a spousal support order are set out in s. 15.2(4) and include:

a)    the length of time the spouses cohabited;

b)    the functions performed by each spouse during the cohabitation; and

c)    any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse.

Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips – Goals

[154]    Further, s. 15.2(6) of the Divorce Act directs that in ordering spousal support the court should:

a)    recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses arising from the marriage or its breakdown;

b)    apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising from the care of any child of the marriage over and above any obligation for the support of any child of the marriage;

c)    relieve any economic hardship of the spouses arising from the breakdown of the marriage; and

d)    in so far as practicable, promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period of time.

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[155]    The Court of Appeal in Marquez v. Zapiola, 2013 BCCA 433 at paras. 32–35, established broad principles for consideration when ordering spousal support. Those principles can be summarized as follows:

a)    marriage is an economic partnership that is built upon a premise (albeit rebuttable) of mutual support;

b)    the statutory factors and objectives to be considered in awarding spousal support include both compensatory and non-compensatory principles;

c)    the compensatory support principle recognizes the need to compensate a spouse for the economic disadvantages arising from the end of the marriage and to account for economic advantages that are conferred on a spouse as a result of the marriage;

d)    the non-compensatory support principle recognizes the need to compensate a spouse for the loss of the economic partnership and the mutual support that both parties enjoyed during the marriage;

e)    the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act acknowledge both principles of compensation for spousal support because neither principle alone is sufficient to achieve a just and legal framework for spousal support; and

f)     it is not a question of applying one principle or the other but, rather, a matter of applying the relevant factors and striking a balance that best achieves justice in the particular case before the court.

[156]    The economic disadvantages typically considered in the compensatory support principle include the withdrawal of one spouse from the workforce to assume primary responsibility for child care and household management. Withdrawing from the workforce to assume those functions often results in an impairment of that spouse’s future economic opportunities.

[157]    The non-compensatory support principle allows the court to assess the level of entitlement required to meet the spouse’s needs after the separation. It is not limited to a level of support to meet the basic necessities but takes into account the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage.

We hope our Best Vancouver Spousal Support Tips have helped you understand the basic principles involved in deciding spousal support disputes.

*Top Choice Award TOP VANCOUVER FAMILY LAWYERS  (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020), Top rated reviews on Google, Yelp, threebestrated family lawyers in Vancouver, Surrey, and Richmond, and Lorne MacLean, QC has been rated by Doyle’s Guide as a Leading Canadian lawyer. Read more about our awards.