While a couple is deciding about divorce, one of the hardest-hit that comes along is about alimony. While this may seem obvious to the one who expects spousal support, the party with more income always ponders how to go about it in their minds. This is because they believe their spouses are getting their hard-earned money for nothing. Spousal support is not easy; that’s why there are rules set out in the Divorce Act to ensure the party with less income gets financial support even after divorce.
Factors To Be Considered In Spousal Support
If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, and there is a good reason to believe you will need financial support from your spouse, you need to find the best divorce lawyer in Brampton. Together with your spouse, you can agree on the amount and the length of time required for the spousal support. If this seems to hit the rocks, the only solution is to get the court to set these terms. This means that your divorce will cost you more than you probably would have expected. You will need to understand how the judge will set the amount of your alimony amount. If the judge orders that indeed you deserve the alimony, this may happen until:
- You children reach a certain age, and they don’t require a full-time parent at home.
- The set future date to receive the alimony expires
- After a reasonable period of time, and you have not made any effort to become partially financially responsible: Some of these efforts include having to make changes in your lifestyle or even work. For instance, you may show that you have made efforts to look for a part-time job. This is especially if you had some gig that never paid well.
- Your spouse has lost their job or has retired
- Your spouse dies: Sometimes, the court may make orders to secure your spousal support obligation. In such a case, the court may order that you be paid from your spouse’s life insurance policy. The court will have given orders beforehand to ensure that you’re the beneficiary of your spouse insurance policy.
- Your spouse remarries: The judge may allow for a suspension or a reduction of spousal support.
To come up with the above, the judge will have considered:
- Any agreement or arrangements you had made with your spouse about the alimony.
- The financial position of both of the spouses
- The length of your marriage
- The number of children and their age
It’s worth noting that once the judge terminates spousal support, he/she cannot reinstate it again. If you need an extension of the alimony, you must request a modification. This may be complex without legal help.
Tips To Come Up With An Acceptable Spousal Support Agreement
The basis of your agreement will be based on your capacity to earn. This may not be based on what you’re hearing by the time you were planning to divorce or even your way of living during your marriage. Remember that one way to avoid court is to agree on the alimony. The judge will only need to approve your agreement. To give your negotiation the best shot, you can consider the below factors:
- Understand the basic principles of spousal support: You need to keep yourself updated. This includes the basics needed to calculate the alimony and the orders the court is likely to make.
- Know beforehand the factors that the judge may consider to approve your alimony: While this may seem straightforward, you need the help of a lawyer who can explain what is required.
Your spousal support agreement is not as easy as child support; allowing the court to come up with their decision may turn out to be tough. You need to know that your relationship or how it has ended had no basis when the court comes to determine spousal support. Meaning, no issue about misconduct will be factored in when making an alimony order. However, the Divorce Act may be slightly different from the Family Law Act. As such, the court may factor in unreasonable misconduct if it affects the ability to provide you with spousal support. If all doesn’t go well and you end up making your spousal support claim in court, you will need to do so on the below basis:
- That you will suffer financial hardship after the relationship breakdown
- You had an agreement with your spouse that spousal support was to be paid
- Your spouse can meet your needs because their income dictates so.
The court will follow the set-out rules in Canada’s divorce legislation to determine that the above grounds have been met. Thus it would pay to keep control of the spousal support decision by knowing what to expect before filing for divorce and acting accordingly.
Needing Legal Help?
It may not be easy to come up with an alimony agreement. You may consider having an experienced divorce lawyer guide you on the best way to act. Alimony laws vary by state. Thus knowing how the Canadian law may be applicable to allow, limit, or deny spousal support would be the right move for your case.