Spousal Support Obligations and Entitlements

Peterson Stark Scott provides experienced guidance to individuals throughout British Columbia going through a divorce or separation who want to understand their options regarding obtaining spousal support payments, or who are concerned that their spouse may seek these payments. We thoroughly understand the unique evaluation process the court uses to determine whether spousal support is appropriate.

Can Spousal Support Be Ordered in My Divorce?

Spousal support is not always available. The court will take a close look at the financial situation of the couple, together and separately as individuals, to determine if both are now financially secure and able to support themselves. The court will have to decide if either spouse should be compensated with spousal support for the effect the marriage (or common law marriage) had on his or her individual financial situation.

The court will look at several factors to determine this, including:

  • Income, assets and finances of both spouses
  • Financial needs of both spouses
  • The financial role each spouse played during the marriage
  • The duration of the relationship
  • The effect the marriage had on both spouses' finances
  • The ability of both spouses to provide for themselves, financially independently

The judge will determine whether a spouse should be paid for sacrifices he or she made during the relationship, particularly if they affected that spouse's ability to earn income or be financially independent. An example of this could be if a spouse gave up his or her job to stay home with the children, or if a spouse sacrificed education to work and support the other spouse in their career or education.

From there, the court can decide how long spousal support must be paid and how much is due. The ultimate goal (aside from permanent circumstances, such as health or disability) is for the supported spouse to receive support just long enough to become self-sufficient.

Our lawyers will guide you through this process and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your specific situation. For more information, please call our law offices today at 604-634-2308 or 800-675-2419.