Although both the recipient and the payer of spousal support may have strong feelings about the arrangement, support payment awards are not based on emotion. A judge awards maintenance based on an established series of guidelines and calculates the amount with standardized formulae. What this means is that sometimes an award of support may be given during a divorce, even when it doesn’t seem to be “deserved.”
According to the law in British Columbia, an award of support has nothing to do with the conduct of either party. In some extreme circumstances, however, a judge may deny support payments. During a recent case, examples were cited of cases wherein one spouse was denied support payments because he or she attempted to murder the other spouse.
In the case at hand, a man wanted to deny his ex wife support payments on the grounds that she was on trial for killing the couple’s infant daughter. The judge dismissed the application, however, although he recognized the situation was tragic. In his ruling, the judge stated that he personally did not have sufficient evidence to blame the child’s death on the mother, citing the possibility the mother may be suffering from a mental illness.
The law can be difficult to understand at times, especially for those who do not deal with it directly on a daily basis. Any man or woman who has questions about his or her rights during or after a divorce may wish to seek clarification from a trusted source. An experienced British Columbia lawyer may be able to provide the answers.
Source: vancouver.24hrs.ca, “Accused can have spousal-support hearing: Court”, Keith Fraser, May 15, 2017