Handling Complex Spousal Support Cases in Mississauga
If you are going through a divorce, you have plenty on your plate – not the least of which is figuring out how you’re going to support yourself post-divorce. The experienced spousal support lawyers at Amiri Family Law in Mississauga, Ontario, have the skill, knowledge, and compassion to help. Our dedicated legal team is committed to working closely with you to provide you with the affordable legal guidance you need.
Understanding Spousal Support in Ontario
Spousal support is more commonly known as alimony, and it refers to the money that is paid by one spouse to the other as a means to help assuage any negative financial consequences brought on by the dissolution of the spousal relationship through either divorce or separation. Any spouse who is either married or in a common-law marriage can claim spousal support, but no spouse is automatically eligible for such support. Instead the process of determining who is eligible for spousal support is complicated and involves the careful examination of a variety of factors:
- Both spouses’ past, present, and future financial circumstances
- The support-seeking spouse’s professional or financial sacrifices within the marriage and divorce
- The couple’s marital or cohabitational history
- The support-seeking spouse’s domestic and parental responsibilities
- The ages and circumstances of the divorcing couple’s children
- Any agreements made between the two divorcing spouses (a prenuptial agreement for instance)
The Spousal Support Process
Typically, spousal support is calculated according to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, but because these are guidelines only, the court is not bound to follow them. Nevertheless, the court generally turns to these guidelines in the determination of spousal support obligations. The guidelines take a number of variables into careful consideration:
- Each spouse’s age and income
- The length of time the couple cohabitated
- Any child support that either spouse pays the other
Further, the guidelines provide a spousal support range rather than a precise amount. Ultimately, the amount of spousal support awarded is usually determined by referencing the guideline’s range in relation to the divorcing couple’s unique circumstances.
The Duration of Spousal Support
The duration of spousal support payments is generally directly related to the duration of the spousal relationship. Typically, the shorter the union, the shorter the duration of spousal support. Nevertheless, the divorcing spouses’ individual circumstances can significantly affect both whether spousal support will come into play and, if so, its duration. There are a variety of such examples:
- A spouse who ordinarily would be awarded spousal support may be denied such support if he or she leaves the marriage with considerable financial means and excellent professional prospects.
- A spouse who suffers from a chronic disability may be awarded spousal support for a much longer time than if he or she were healthy.
Modifying Spousal Support
If an ex-spouse can adequately establish that a relevant change has occurred in one or both spouses’ circumstances, the spousal support order may be subject to modification. If the payor loses his or her job, the court may well see fit to modify the court-ordered payments. If, on the other hand, the payor’s earnings have gone up considerably, he or she may be charged with increasing spousal support payments accordingly.
Consult with an Experienced Mississauga Spousal Support Lawyer
If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, the dedicated spousal support lawyers at Amiri Family Law have the experience, compassion, and commitment to help. We have offices that are conveniently located in Mississauga, Oakville, and Burlington. To better understand your rights and options, please schedule a consultation by contacting or calling us at 647-792-2961 today.
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