Every relationship is different. Accordingly, when one comes to an end, the issues that will need to be addressed vary. For some, spousal support will be a major focus. This is true not only in the cases of divorce but when a couple is engaged in a common law marriage as well.
It is not a foregone conclusion that spousal support will be awarded. There are various circumstances that must be present before it can be secured. The idea behind alimony is that neither party to the failed relationship should experience financial hardship as a result of the split. In addition to the economic position of each individual, factors that will be considered in determining whether it will be awarded include:
- The length of the relationship
- The role each individual played in the relationship
- How capable each individual is to care for him or herself
Spousal support is also a tool that can help someone who is not financially independent to get by until he or she is in a position to financially take care of him or herself.
There is a time limit during which a request for spousal support must be made. Under the Family Law Act, following a divorce, an individual has two years. Similarly, the period is two years after separation for common law couples. The matter may be resolved via negotiation.
Because one’s financial situation is so important in setting the stage for the next part of their life, it is vital that individuals, who believe they are entitled to spousal support, work with a lawyer who understands the requirements necessary to secure those payments.