The Law Of Spousal Support

On the breakdown of a marriage, or in the event of a termination of a common law relationship which has lasted at least two years, one of the many issues which may arise is whether there is an entitlement by one of the parties to spousal support.

Spousal support may be payable in a number of scenarios.  The first is where there is financial need by one spouse and a corresponding ability to pay support by the other spouse.  This is called “needs based” or “non-compensatory” spousal support.  The other is where one spouse has given up employment or economic opportunities for the marriage or family, and should be compensated for those economic sacrifices.  This is called “compensatory” support, as it is meant to compensate that person for having given up those opportunities.

Once a Court decides that an applicant is entitled to spousal support, the issues then become “how much”?, and “for how long”?  These issues are called “quantum” and “duration”.

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