Mississauga Spousal Support Lawyer
Spousal support is not automatic or guaranteed in every Ontario divorce. One spouse has to request support as part of the divorce proceedings, and the other spouse may object to support, leading to litigation and hearings on the matter. If the court decides one party is entitled to spousal support, further work must be done to determine the proper amount and duration of support. In Mississauga, Brampton and throughout the Peel Region, Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP help clients who are seeking or opposing spousal support as part of their Ontario divorce. Learn more about Ontario spousal support laws below, and contact our Mississauga office for a free consultation regarding your rights and responsibilities for spousal support in your Ontario divorce.
Role of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are a 182-page document designed to help determine the amount of spousal support which should be ordered in a given situation. It is important to understand that these are guidelines only, and courts are free to establish a different amount. It is also important to know that the guidelines may only come into play after a court has determined that spousal support is appropriate in a given situation.
In deciding whether to order spousal support in an Ontario divorce, the court will determine whether the requesting spouse truly needs the support and whether the paying spouse has the financial ability to pay the support requested. The purpose of spousal support is to help a divorcing or separating spouse become self-supporting or avoid serious financial distress. A period of short-term support is most likely at the end of a short-term relationship, while the receiving party acquires necessary education or job training. After a long-term relationship, the court may decide to make a long-term award of support, especially for someone who has been out of the workforce for years or who has not worked the level of job which would enable self-sufficiency.
Courts look at a number of different factors when determining whether spousal support is appropriate, how long it should be ordered for and what amount should be awarded. These factors include:
- The age and health of the proposed recipient
- The recipient’s employment opportunities
- How the couple’s relationship impacted the recipient’s employability
- The contribution to family care made by the recipient
- How much the recipient contributed to the paying party’s career
- The couple’s standard of living
- The amount of time needed to become self-supporting
- The need of the recipient to stay at home to take care of the children rather than work
How Our Mississauga Spousal Support Lawyers can Help
Our Mississauga spousal support lawyers can help in this process in a couple of important ways. First, we can help you figure out how much support you need. Individuals tend not to think of or include everything when calculating their monthly financial needs. With our years of support handling Ontario family law matters, we understand all of the factors which should be included in this calculation.
Additionally, we can help make sure the paying spouse’s income calculation is performed correctly. Calculating income can be quite complicated depending on whether the individual is employed, self-employed, unemployed or underemployed. Other sources of income besides wages or salary should be included as well. Furthermore, if there are children in the picture, then expenses for the children in areas such as child care, education, health care and extracurricular activities are also properly included in this calculation.
By making sure your needs and your spouse’s income are completely and accurately calculated, we can help ensure the court has the right information to order an appropriate amount of support.
Experienced Mississauga Spousal Support Lawyers
For help with spousal support in your Ontario divorce, whether you are seeking support or being asked to pay, contact Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP in Mississauga at 905-232-0398 for a free consultation regarding your rights and responsibilities for spousal support.