By: Chandan K. Sabharwal, B.A., LL.B.
Barrister and Solicitor
Sabharwal Law Group
Spousal support can be awarded under the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act.
The court may award interim support until the issue of permanent spousal support is not heard by the court.
Both Supreme Court and Provincial Court have the jurisdiction to grant an Order for spousal support under the Family Law Act.
Under the Divorce Act two persons who are married to each other, may make an application for spousal support and includes a former spouse.
An unmarried couple, upon relationship breakdown, may seek spousal support under the Family Law Act, as long as the two people have been living in a marriage like relationship for a continuous two years and any persons in a marriage like relationship who have lived together for less than two years, if they have a child together.
Entitlement to permanent spousal support is based on compensatory support, non compensatory support and contractual support. In order to determine entitlement to spousal support, the Court considers circumstances of each spouse, including the length of the time that the spouses lived together; the functions performed by each spouse during the cohabitation,; and any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse. The amount of spousal support is obtained by looking at factors such as, the incomes of the parties, the ages of the parties at separation, the length of the relationship, the number of children of the parties, and the ages of the children.
According to Leskun v. Leskun, 2006 SCC 25, spousal misconduct is not a factor to be considered in awarding spousal support; however, its effect on a spouse’s ability to achieve self-sufficiency may be relevant.
Spousal support may be awarded in a lump sum payment. Spousal support Orders can also have a review date placed on them in order to determine whether or not spousal support should continue.
Spousal support is a complex issue, and for further assistance on the issue, please call us at Sabharwal Law Group, so that we can assist you with your specific set of facts.