Spousal support for married couples is determined based on the dependency of one of the spouses on the other during marriage. We will calculate and determine the spousal support payable based on a budget that determines the amount required to maintain the same lifestyle you were living prior to the separation.
Some people believe that no matter how long you’re married, you are automatically entitled to a spousal support. This is false. In order to be entitled to spousal support, you need to prove the following three things: that there was an economic dependency during the marriage, that there was an enrichment and impoverishment of the parties, and that the payor has the capacity to pay.
The amount of spousal support is based on a document known as a Form III which is a government created budget in order to determine how much money you need to live per month without having a monthly deficit. This form covers all expenses that you would need to live and it factors in each party’s income. The duration of spousal support ordered depends on the length of your marriage as well as your education and capacity to earn an income, as the goal of spousal support is to ensure that the parties maintain the same lifestyle they had during the marriage as much as possible.
It goes without saying that when going through a divorce, income needs to be split over two households and it could be difficult to have the exact same lifestyle as before but the intention is to be sure that it is as similar as it was during the marriage.
If you are already divorced and your ex-spouse is not respecting the judgment with respect to custody, has not paid the support, or any amounts that were awarded, we can discuss the options as to how to execute the judgment. If something has changed since your divorce, we can also apply for a modification of the judgment in the event that there is a change of circumstance.
You cannot exactly claim damages in family law. If you have been financially dependent on your spouse throughout your marriage, have been impoverished and your spouse enriched as a result of your marriage, and your spouse has the capacity to pay, you can request a provision for costs. This is based on complexity of the case. The quantum of the provision for costs is left to the judge’s discretion.
If you are going to court on an urgent motion or application for a safeguard order, you can request a provision for costs if the above criteria is met. It is possible that the judge may refuse it on an interim basis and defer it to the trial judge. It is also possible to be awarded an amount on an interim (temporary) basis to be adjusted at trial. If the other party is being abusive in their proceedings, in other words, if they are unnecessarily duplicating proceedings and/or are not respecting orders or undertakings that were made to the court, you may ask for damages. However, it is not common that they will be granted in family court. You would need to prove that you incurred exorbitant fees as a direct result of the other party’s bad faith with respect to the proceedings.