Alimony Lawyers in Calgary, AB Easing Your Stress During a Divorce
During divorce cases, when one person has been the primary source of income in a household, the other spouse may suffer financial hardship from the economic and situational separations. In this case, the former spouse, who the family court will order to pay spousal support, will be the partner who provided the financial support in the relationship because they will have the economic advantages.
The other relationship member will receive spousal support payments due to more assumed financial consequences for that party. Though, the entire process can be mitigated and altered for each unique situation through the help of trained spousal support lawyers.
In the family law court, spousal support is meant to help any negative aftermath one former spouse may suffer after the proceedings. For example:
- Burdens felt from court/lawyers’ fees by the spouse
- Child care expenses not covered by child support payments
- Suffering from the new loss of income
- Giving time to let the spouse support themselves, financially
Family law does not account for either party’s behavior during the marriage when calculating spousal support. Spousal support is meant to be a form of assistance, not a reward or penalty to either party.
What is Spousal Support / Adult Interdependent Partner Support?
The Canadian Divorce Act and the Family Law Act of Alberta both suggest spousal support or adult interdependent partner assistance for the following reasons:
- To recognize that each person has the potential to make or lose money as a result of the divorce’s events;
- The custodial parent may be subject to additional financial obligations not covered by child support;
- To recognize that one side may experience more financial troubles as a result of the divorce than the other;
- To allow adequate time for each party to secure their financial independence.
What Determines Spousal Support?
How Much is Spousal Support?
Firstly, a family law judge determines if either spouse is eligible to claim spousal support.
If granted, the judge calculates the spousal support by examining factors associated with the need of the receiving spouse versus the payor spouse’s ability.
The court requires each spouse or partner to be fully financially and economically transparent with the court and each other while spousal support is calculated.
During this time, a court will request the following from each party:
- All debts and assets listed
- Three years of complete tax returns
- a “Notice of Assessment” for each of the past three years
- current year’s pay stubs or proof of income
- list of monthly receipts or expenses
- evidence of medical or collegiate need that causes financial disadvantage
Family law includes several guidelines to which a judge can refer when determining spousal support payments. They often calculate it using special software, inputting different formulas depending on the payor’s and recipient’s gross annual income and whether or not children are involved in the case.
A shorthand for understanding the range that may be required:
Low-End amount: Find the difference between the gross incomes of each party. Multiply that difference by .015. Multiply that number by the number of years the parties have lived together.
High-end amount: Find the difference between the gross incomes of the two parties. Multiply that number by .02. Multiply that number by the number of years the parties lived together.
How Long Must a Payor Provide Spousal Support?
If the couple does not share children, the court can order the maximum amount of time spousal support to be one year per year the parties lived together. Typically, it is closer to 6 months per year the two spent together.
There reconsider if the couple does have children together.
How Does Child Support Factor into Spousal Support?
If the couple had children, there are federal child support guidelines the court will follow that will factor into deciding spousal support payments.
To have spousal support calculated, you can take the net disposable incomes of each of the parties, after taxes, deductions, and childcare expenses, to leave 40-46% of the total to the support recipient.
Calculating spousal support is complicated when adding support to a child and takes special software to calculate correctly. A family lawyer will help you estimate them more accurately in your situation.
The amount will also vary depending on whether or not custody is shared or split or if the children also reside with the payor of support. Child support will take precedence in cases combining it and spousal support in which the payor cannot pay both.
What is the Difference Between Family Lawyers, Divorce Lawyers, and Spousal Support Lawyers?
Family Lawyers are essentially general practitioners of family law. They can cover you in any case that involves family matters.
Lawyers specializing in divorce typically practice in the area of separation, ensuring that both sides have fair representation in court properly.
Spousal Support Lawyers, if a law firm has someone with that featured skill set, will ensure that after a divorce, the lesser advantaged person will receive proper financial support payments. Also, they will help the more advantaged person if they feel like they are being exploited.
It is never advised for a person to go through divorce, separation, custody issues, and child support/spousal support situations by themselves. Each case is different, but spousal support lawyers are almost always recommended. To receive advice about your current situation, schedule a consultation today at Getz Collins and Associates by calling 403-934-2500.