Spousal support is one of the most major issues of any Alberta divorce case. If you need it, then you can’t afford to be talked into an unfair settlement. If you’re the payor, you could end up saddled with a payment that significantly reduces your standard of living to an untenable degree.
Either spouse may apply for spousal support, and determining which spouse is eligible for it is one of the major issues of any divorce.
Let the lawyers at Merchant Law fight for you. We will negotiate hard to get the settlement that meets your needs. If the matter has to go to court then we will fight hard to get the judge’s agreement for our case. We’re known as some of Canada’s toughest family law litigators and negotiators, which means retaining our services gives you your best chance at a good outcome.
How is spousal support calculated in Alberta?
Alberta uses the Spousal Support Guidelines. These guidelines factor in the income of each spouse, the length of the marriage, and childcare expenses.
Judges also consider the role of each spouse in the marriage and whether there are significant economic disparities between spouses. Spousal support is meant to help each person become self-sufficient. A common spousal support recipient may be a “house spouse” who left the workforce for years to raise children. The other spouse benefitted from these services, and the “house spouse” will have to have education, training, and time if they’re going to support themselves.
How long does spousal support last in Alberta?
The goal is for the payee to become self-sufficient within a “reasonable” period of time, so lifetime awards are rare. Of course, there are always exceptions. Ending a 40 year marriage might entitle a partner to support for the rest of their lives because it would not be reasonable to expect that they could “catch up” this late in life.
Every case is different.
In addition, during a divorce settlement spouses may opt for lump sum payments or a greater share of the assets in lieu of spousal support. This can be a good option for payors who are nervous about having a new monthly bill to pay.
How can I get out of paying spousal support?
Spousal support awards last for as long as outlined by the divorce decree. Yet if either spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances there may be a case to modify or end spousal support.
For example, the payee may become ineligible for support if they enter into a marriage or cohabitation arrangement with another partner. The payor may need a reduction in support payments because their own income has taken a significant plunge.
These changes do not happen automatically. Your lawyer will have to file a motion with the court to begin the process. The motion will outline all the arguments for why spousal support payments should be changed or ended.
Why Merchant Law?
We’re responsive, experienced family law lawyers who have seen it all. You’ll work with a tough negotiator and strong litigator who can help you bring your case to its best outcome.
Not sure whether Merchant Law is right for you? Call us today to get a free consultation.