Spousal support is often negotiated by spouses who are choosing to end their relationship. Although payment of alimony is not guaranteed, the law sets out several criteria that establish whether a spouse is entitled to spousal support, how much that support should be and for how long. At Calgary's Walsh LLP, we can help you to negotiate spousal support as part of your divorce or separation. When negotiation is not possible, we will be your advocates in court.
When the issue of spousal support goes to court, a judge will consider certain factors to determine whether a spouse is entitled to support. Specifically, the judge will look at:
- Whether the marriage or divorce caused one spouse to suffer an economic disadvantage
- The ongoing financial costs of caring for children
- The possibility of the spouse becoming financially self-sufficient
It is only after a person is found to be entitled to support that a judge will go on to decide how much he or she should receive and for how long.
Amount And Duration
Although not mandatory, the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are highly respected by Alberta courts. Unlike the child support guidelines, which provide a specific payment amount for parents, the spousal support guidelines provide a range of possible amounts; both judges and spouses, therefore, have a great deal of flexibility.
Support may be for an indefinite period of time or a specific period of time. Many factors will be considered in determining how long support may be paid, including:
- Ages of the parties
- The length of the marriage
- Whether a spouse took time out of the workforce to raise children
- Education and skills training for the spouse to become economically self-sufficient
- Chronic illness or disability
At Walsh LLP, we are both your advisors and advocates. We will help you to understand the law and how it applies to you — including how an existing prenuptial or cohabitation agreement may affect your entitlement to support or your obligation to pay. In alternative dispute resolution proceedings and in court, we will help you achieve an effective resolution.
Also Serving Airdrie: Lawyer For Spousal Support
To schedule a consultation with one of our spousal support entitlement lawyers based in Calgary or Okotoks, contact us online or call 403-267-8400 locally, 800-304-3574 toll free.