The Ultimate Guide to Retroactive Spousal Support
Retroactive spousal support is a lump sum payment from the paying parent to the receiving parent. It can go back as far as when they separated or divorced, and may be requested by either party if it isn’t previously enforced in court.
Retroactive Spousal Support claims:
- During the time of the initial order or agreement, where it may be necessary to revisit the amount and duration of interim spousal support; and
- On an application to vary spousal support, with a claim for retroactive support accompanying the claim for varied perspective support.
Retroactive Spousal Support follows similar elements, with some alterations, like that of retroactive child support. The Supreme Court of Canada released a criterion to determine retroactive child support through an analysis of the case D.B.S. v. S.R.G., 2006.
This case introduced the following factors:
- The reasonable excuse for any delay in seeking support by the recipient;
- The presence or absence of blameworthy conduct by the payor;
- The circumstances of the support recipient; and
- Any hardship to the payor occasioned by a retroactive award.
A complementary method to assess and calculate retroactive spousal support is the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. The SSAG (Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines) is a more efficient way of calculating spousal support.
The SSAG is not law, but a guideline for when courts and lawyers make decisions about spousal support. After the development of the SSAG, there was an increase in retroactive claims.
Eventually, some cases raised the issue of taxes when it came to retroactive spousal support. The following are introduced circumstances under which a payor is allowed to deduct the lump sum payment:
· The lump-sum payment represents amounts payable periodically that were due after the date of the order or written agreement that had fallen into arrears, or
· The lump sum amount is paid pursuant to a court order that establishes a clear obligation to pay retroactive periodic maintenance for a specified period prior to the date of the court order.
Following a separation or divorce, it may be difficult to keep track of child and spousal support. Seeking spousal support may further make things challenging between you and your partner/ former partner.
It is important to seek assistance on how to receive retroactive spousal support by following the rules and guidelines. Tailor Law Professional Corporation employs lawyers with experience to help you reach a resolution. If you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-366-0202, or visit our website here.