If you’re considering seeking spousal support during your divorce, knowing what the judge will consider can help you determine if you will be able to attain the support you want.
The federal Divorce Act states the rules for spousal support between divorcing couples. These rules apply everywhere in Canada. In contrast, those who are in common-law marriages and those who are married and separating without divorce must follow the laws of the province or territory where they live.
The federal Divorce Act states that spousal support is paid most often when there is a large difference between two spouses’ incomes. For instance, if you have been living with a spouse who earns $100,000 every year while you earn $30,000, it’s likely that you could be entitled to spousal support to help you make up the difference in your earnings after you separate.
It’s not always the case that spousal support is ordered, though. If you have plenty of assets, that may affect your right to spousal support. A judge will consider how long you were married, if you have children, who is caring for the children, if spousal support will help encourage a spouse to be self-sufficient in a reasonable amount of time, the roles you played in your marriage and the way the breakdown of the marriage affects your financial position. If you already have any orders or agreements about your right to spousal support, that will also be considered.
Our website has more about spousal support, so you can learn about how it can apply to your divorce.