Our Calgary spousal support lawyers help families resolve their domestic issues after a divorce or separation. Our Calgary spousal support lawyers are ready to help you get through the divorce transition more smoothly, to reduce your stress, and to seek positive solutions to your needs.
Our dedicated Calgary spousal support lawyers can evaluate your financial status after the breakdown of a relationship, and whether you are entitled to any type of support. To speak with one of our Calgary spousal support lawyers call 403-225-7777 now.
Our Calgary spousal support lawyers can help clarify:
- How much will the range of spousal support payments likely be
- How long will spousal support payments likely continue
- What are the possible tax implications of the spousal support payments
- What enforcement legislation applies
Can I Get Spousal Support?
It is more likely to be ordered in cases where you and your ex-partner have significant differences in income.
The underlying aim of the courts when making a spousal support order is to reduce the economic harms which are experienced by the spouse who earns less money when a marriage ends.
The facts of the case matter greatly. The advocacy skills of your spousal support lawyer can be critical to succeeding.
Calgary Spousal Support Lawyers — What Types of Spousal Support Orders Can Be Made?
The first type is compensatory where the courts look at a spousal support order to compensate a spouse for his or her financial or other contributions, such as staying home and raising children while the other spouse advanced in job, career, wealth, and earnings.
Another is that spousal support may sometimes be ordered transitionally, in order to provide stability for a limited period of time to the spouse who earns less to return to employment or return to school or training for better future career opportunities.
Perhaps most commonly spousal support are made for maintenance either for a fixed duration or for an ongoing period of time. Orders for maintenance are more often granted by the court in situations where the parties were married for a long time and there is significant disparity between the two spouses’ income, where education and training, career advancement opportunities, and earning potential may all be relevant factors and considerations.
I was living common law—Can I still seek Spousal Support?
Generally speaking, “spousal support” is the legal term used for the payment from one ex-spouse or ex-partner to the other after a divorce or separation. In the case of ex-common-law partners receiving payments the term is “adult interdependent partner support”.
Both married couples and common law couples may be entitled to spousal support or partner support on the same principles:
- An imbalance of income-earning potential, for instance where one spouse has put his or her career on hold for the benefit of the other or to raise children.
- Whether the separation may result in a significant alteration of the quality of life for the other spouse.
Our goal is to present your case using our professional advocacy skills to give you the best legal arguments to pursue a sufficient means of support by demonstrating to the court how your needs and rights will be impacted and affected by the divorce or separation.
How much spousal support will be payable?
Spousal support, partner support, or alimony as it is sometimes called, is designed to ensure that the supported spouse is able to maintain the same standard of living that he or she enjoyed before the breakdown of the marriage or common law relationship.
The amount of support payable is going to depend on the length of the marriage or relationship and the earning potential of each spouse. For example, if one spouse makes more money than the other, he or she may be required by law to pay spousal support. Spousal support can be ordered or agreed on either a temporary or permanent basis.
Whether you will be receiving the spousal support or partner support or will be required to be making payments to your ex-spouse, our lawyers will work determinedly to ensure you get the result that is fair to allow for your strong financial future. Call our Calgary spousal support lawyers now for the support you need at 403-225-7777.
We can also help those searching for an Airdrie spousal support lawyer, Okotoks spousal support lawyer, Cochrane spousal support lawyer, Chestermere spousal support lawyer, Strathmore spousal support lawyer, or a High River spousal support lawyer.
Our spousal support lawyers team focus to help you find closure on legal matters after a separation or divorce. We will work together to evaluate all of your needs and factor them into a fair and appropriate spousal support application that protects your interests.
What are the factors for spousal support in Calgary?
The courts in Calgary can award spousal support in appropriate cases. The courts will consider various factors, such as:
- whether one spouse has been negatively impacted by the marriage or its breakdown,
- whether one spouse has been financially disadvantaged by the marriage or the common law relationship or its breakdown,
- what will be the financial consequence for the spouse who has primary care of any children of the relationship following separation,
- whether a spouse needs spousal support for basic needs in order to make ends meet.
However, a spouse is not automatically entitled to spousal support and maintaining your lifestyle is not guaranteed.
Child support will always be considered paramount and more important, ranking ahead of spousal support in the court’s priority.
The parties might for example:
- Come to an agreement between themselves which is then finalized by their respective lawyers and reduced to a binding and enforceable contract signed by both parties,
- Let the lawyers negotiate a formal agreement directly and then reduce it to a binding and enforceable contract signed by both parties,
- or else reach an agreement through mediation or collaborative law
Oftentimes the best course of action is to proceed to court without delay. Court orders for spousal support can be made on an interim application which means a court order might be achieved in certain cases relatively quickly, although this approach carries its own inherent risks and costs and is therefore a tactical decision to be considered carefully with your lawyer.
The guiding principles under the Divorce Act include:
- The length of the marriage,
- Which spouse is providing child care,
- When could the spouse requesting support achieve their own financial self-sufficiency,
- Does one or both spouses currently have employment or other income and does the spouse need for example help to get an education,
- What is the ability of the other spouse to pay and what is the income disparity between the two. Although every case turns on its own facts and the foregoing is not an exhaustive list, these are essentially the same factors which would guide the parties themselves or their lawyers in attempts at reaching any negotiated resolution of the issue of spousal support.
Can common law partners get spousal support in Alberta?
If you were not married but were in a common law relationship, there may still be a practically similar entitlement under the Family Law Act to “partner support”.
While this entitlement is essentially treated like spousal support, there are some subtle differences to the requirements for entitlement to partner support which include, for example, the length of the relationship and whether there are children, as well as some other differing considerations.
Either spouse can be ordered by the court to pay spousal support to the other.
The amount of spousal support that gets awarded will depend on the status of each spouse in terms of their respective income and assets, education, employment, age and health, and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or lengthy common law relationship.
The spousal support award may be ordered to be paid in a one single lump sum or with monthly payments for a fixed time or on an ongoing basis.
The longer the marriage or relationship, the longer the order is likely to last, for example if you have been married less than 20 years, the duration of the spousal support will be based partly on the length of the marriage and the financial needs of the spouse.
If you have been married more than 20 years, spousal support may be likely to last until that person receiving spousal support dies or remarries.
For the payors of spousal support, you cannot evade court ordered spousal support payments by declaring bankruptcy as you are still required by law to make any court ordered payments although you could apply to the court to vary the terms where circumstances have changed.
In relation to income tax it is important also to bear in mind that for the spouse paying spousal support, the payments are a deductible expense whereas for the individual receiving the spousal support payments, the payments are considered taxable income.
How much will my lawyer cost?
Calgary spousal support lawyers ordinarily charge by the hour, each lawyer has their standard hourly rate which is based on similar lawyers of equal experience and competency.
Typically, fees can increase sometimes needlessly if we have to take your case to court, so that it is oftentimes beneficial to at least attempt to negotiate your spousal support payments outside of court. And we can help with this negotiation.
But it will almost certainly require that a lawsuit be filed in order to be able to effectively negotiate on behalf of the one entitled to the support. By filing the lawsuit, it has the effect of bringing pressure to bear which can be necessary to force the issue and get the attention of the other spouse.
Even if the case then goes down the negotiation and settlement path, filing the lawsuit shows the other side you are serious and that if they will not negotiate a fair resolution of the issue, they will find themselves quickly before a judge, so it is therefore tactically significant.
To simply file paperwork, your Calgary spousal support lawyer may charge by the hour or in certain cases may quote a fixed fee for a defined service.
Get the Help You Need Today
For assistance in understanding more about how spousal support works, when spousal support is appropriate and how spousal support payments are calculated, call us today to speak to one of our experienced Calgary spousal support lawyers. We will be happy to assist you.
To speak with one of our Calgary spousal support lawyers call 403-225-7777 or contact us with the available form. We will get back to you within one working day at the latest.
Or else feel free to drop by our offices at the Merchant Law / Deerfoot 17 building just off Barlow Trail. The address is 2710 17th Avenue South East in Calgary and we are on the Fourth Floor. The building has elevators and wheel chair access, as well as ample free parking on the street and some visitor parking in front of the office as well. The office is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. It is best to book an appointment in advance.