What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support is a sum of money (usually paid monthly, sometimes paid in a one-time lump sum) that is paid from one ex-spouse to another after separation. You may sometimes hear people refer to spousal support as “alimony”: this is the American term. The reasons for providing spousal support are listed in the Family Law Act, the legislation that governs family law in BC, at section 161:
(a) To recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the spouses arising from the relationship between the spouses or the breakdown of that relationship;
(b) To apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising from the care of their child, beyond the duty to provide support for the child;
(c) To relieve any economic hardship of the spouses arising from the breakdown of the relationship between the spouses;
(d) As far as practicable, to promote the economic self-sufficiency of each spouse within a reasonable period of time.
How is Spousal Support Amounts Determined?
There is a two-step process for determining whether a person should pay spousal support to his or her ex-spouse:
How Long Do I Pay Spousal Support?
The steps to determine entitlement, amount and duration of spousal support can be quite complicated. In a nutshell, spousal support is highly fact-specific; every situation creates different spousal support numbers and duration because spousal support is determined based on multiple different factors, including but not limited to:
Jennifer Lin exclusively practises family law, representing numerous clients on matters of spousal support. Visit Jennifer’s profile page to contact her.
Tags: Jennifer M. Lin, Family Law, Spousal Support, Article