Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers help Edmonton family law clients negotiate Edmonton spousal support entitlement, amount, and duration. In today’s Blog, Edmonton and Calgary family lawyer Peter Graburn explains how Edmonton spousal support works.
Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers 403 444 5503
Spousal Support can often be the ‘elephant in the room’ during family breakdown. Many separating spouses are hesitant to discuss spousal support when trying to resolve family issues between themselves or in mediation for fear of upsetting the other spouse. Some may hesitate to raise the issue as they are not sure if they are entitled to receive or obligated to pay spousal support. Others may simply not want to pay or receive spousal support. Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers help separating spouses approach and resolve this often contentious issue.
But what is “Spousal Support”? It often goes by other names: alimony or spousal maintenance. Spousal support is a form of financial support that may arise upon relationship breakdown of married (under the federal Divorce Act) or so-called ‘common-law’ (under the Alberta Family Law Act) spouses, similar to child support. But unlike child support (which is statutorily required under those Acts), spousal support is not automatically required to be paid or received. So how is spousal support determined in Alberta?
Spousal Support Entitlement
First, a married or ‘common law’ spouse must prove they are entitled to receive spousal support under one or more of three (3) legal grounds, being:
● Contractual – ie. a promise (whether written or verbal) to financially support the other spouse after separation or divorce;
● Non-Compensatory – ie. a ‘need’ for financial support due to the breakdown of the relationship, or:
● Compensatory – ie. compensation for something given up for entering into the relationship.
Then, once entitlement to receive spousal support is established, it becomes a question of determining three (3) issues regarding the payment of that support, being;
How Much Spousal Support?
● How much? (Quantum) – ie. how much does one spouse need to live versus how much can the other spouse afford to pay;
How Long Is Support Payable?
● How long? (Duration) – ie. short-term relationship, short-term support; long-term relationship, long term (or sometimes indefinite) support; and
● How? (Form) – ie. periodic vs. lump-sum payment(s).
Finally, separating spouses must then decide how they are going to determine how (and how much) spousal support will be paid, including:
● Agreement – based on agreed ‘need’ and ‘ability to pay’;
● Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines – advisory guidelines which set out a range (ie. low to high) for duration and quantum of support (subject to many rules and exceptions), and;
● Budgets – a micro-analysis of each spouses’ income and necessary living expenses.
If the former spouses cannot agree on a reasonable amount of spousal support payable between themselves, the matter may then have to go to Court where a Judge or Justice will make the decision, using (most of) the same approaches described above. They will be guided by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.
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Call Our Top-Rated Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers 403 444 5503
Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers assist their clients to understand the different grounds on which a spouse may be obligated to pay or entitled to receive spousal support upon relationship breakdown, and the different ways of determining “how much” and for “how long” that support may be paid. Whatever method you decide to use to resolve your family law disputes (ie. negotiation or litigation), our skilled and experienced Edmonton Spousal Support Lawyers can help you resolve the often contentious issue of spousal support and deal with ‘the elephant in the room’.