Few divorce issues provoke more emotion than the issue of alimony, also known as spousal support. Both sides have a lot to gain and a lot to lose.
Yet it is possible to calculate a spousal support settlement you can live with, and Alberta’s laws on the subject aren’t as harsh as one might imagine. In addition, until the matter goes to trial all spousal support issues are fully negotiable.
This means you have some freedom to craft and propose a settlement that works for you. Our divorce lawyers are adept at spotting creative solutions that can work for all parties.
Who is entitled to spousal support in Calgary?
It might surprise you to learn that either spouse may apply for spousal support.
The spouse who receives support is generally the spouse who will be the most economically disadvantaged by the divorce. In cases where there is no significant disparity in income or lifestyle between the spouses support may not even come into play.
There are three types of support.
The first is contractual. You would pay or receive this sort of support if it were already supported by a prenuptial agreement. The second is compensatory support. This is support paid to a spouse who gave up their career to support the earning spouse. The third is non-compensatory support, meant to address significant economic hardships that might be caused by the breakdown of the marriage.
Knowing these types is important as a lawyer can use any of the three justifications to explain to the court why an applicant should receive spousal support.
How is spousal support calculated in Calgary?
There are two formulae that get used. One is the formula for a spouse who is already paying child support. The other is the formula for the spouse who is not paying child support.
The courts and most lawyers use a computer program to determine a fair amount according to the Canadian Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Yet this amount is not set in stone and remains negotiable.
Some even choose to pay their spousal support as a lump sum, so they can escape the burden of an additional monthly obligation.
How long does spousal support last in Calgary?
For shorter marriages, the amount will be six months to one year for every year of the marriage. Lifetime support is very rare and only happens after decades of marriage. Lifetime support most often addresses grey divorces, where the spouse who receives the support has very few prospects for launching a new career.
For most people, support will be a temporary measure which allows time for a spouse to get settled and economically independent after the divorce.
Why Merchant Law?
We have the experience to help you navigate your support issues. Our decades of work and our background in business could make thousands of dollars worth of difference. We’re also responsive, caring divorce lawyers who are passionate about protecting your best interests.
Get the help you need to get through this difficult time. Call (403) 237-7777 today.