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Two Formulas For Determining Spousal Support In Ontario


Spousal support is often the center of disputes in a Canadian divorce, with each party making their arguments about whether it is appropriate, the amount, duration, and other details. As a starting off point for determining the issue, a judge will refer to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines established by the Government of Canada. The points do not result in an exact figure, but they provide the court with a range for alimony. On a case-specific basis, the judge will enter a spousal support order after reviewing the length of the marriage and other relevant factors.

However, the emotional, developmental, and financial needs of children are a paramount concern in the Canadian divorce process. There are impacts when the court decides alimony because the judge turns to two different formulas. A Mississauga spousal support lawyer can explain how the guidelines affect your case, and a summary is helpful for the basics.

 Impact of Children on Spousal Support Calculations 

Initially, you should note that the two different formulas for assessing alimony only apply once it is determined that a party should receive it. After the establishment to entitlement, the judge will review the guidelines for parties:

  1. Without Children: The amount of spousal support is calculated at 1.5 to 2 percent times the difference between the two spouses’ incomes. This figure is multiplied by the years the couple lived together. The duration for paying alimony is half year to 1 year for each year of cohabitation.
  1. With Children: A judge adds together the net disposable incomes of the parents, then calculates the amount that would be around 40 to 45 percent of the total. The lower earning spouse may receive this amount as spousal support. The duration is based upon the length of the marriage, compared to the date that the youngest child finishes high school.

Facts to Note About Spousal Support Formulas 

Keep in mind that the two formulas may not apply if the parties prepared a prenuptial agreement to cover alimony. However, some additional points are useful when the judge will be determining spousal support:

  • The parties’ incomes are measured from the date of entitlement, i.e., when one spouse was found to be entitled to alimony.
  • Courts can impute income to a party, which means that a judge can consider what the payor or recipient would earn by working.
  • The court may decline to follow the formulas under the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines when the income of the parties is above or below certain amounts. The judge can use discretion to make an award in such cases.

Our Mississauga Spousal Support Lawyers Will Advise You on Formulas

It is helpful to know how children are considered as part of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, but there are many additional details that you should entrust to experienced legal counsel. Please call Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP today to schedule a free consultation. Individuals in Mississauga, Brampton and the Peel Region can call at 905-232-0398 or go online to speak with a member of our team.



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