Wednesday’s Video Clip: Top 5 Spousal Support Tips from Russell Alexander
1. What is spousal support?
Spousal support is money paid from one spouse to another to help them meet their needs, pay their bills, and help with their living conditions.
2. What is the legal basis for spousal support?
If you’re common law, and you’ve been together for 3+ years then you’re considered a spouse as defined by the Family Law Act. If you’re married, then your rights and obligations would be defined by the Divorce Act.
3. What facts do lawyers and Courts consider when determining and ordering spousal support?
• Length of relationship
• Need and ability to pay
4. Does behaviour affect spousal support?
Generally speaking, behaviour does not affect entitlement to spousal support. The support will likely continue regardless of conduct.
5. What if there is a change?
The Court will revisit the issue of support, or form a new support agreement or court order. Sometimes lawyers use the language, “material change” in spousal support. This would include:
• changes in income
• new disability
• loss of income source
On the spousal support recipient’s side, a change could occur if:
• they re-marry
• they gain employment
• their income reaches that of their spouse