Often during a common law relationship or a marriage, one of the partners assumes more financial responsibility than the other. This can be due to income disparity, disability, the need for one of the partners to stay home and care for any children, and many other reasons. The partner who has historically been financially dependent can run into major problems upon separating from his or her spouse. This can affect the wellbeing of that partner and any children resulting from the relationship. This is why is is important to know what your rights are and whether you or your former spouse is entitled to support. Tailor Law’s Toronto Spousal Support lawyers can assess your situation and figure out the most productive way to advance your interests.
Toronto Spousal Support Lawyers
SPOUSAL SUPPORT LAWYERS IN TORONTO
SPOUSAL SUPPORT EXPLAINED
Spousal support refers to payments, usually made monthly, from the spouse who is financially secure to the spouse who isn’t. Spousal support can also be paid as a lump sum. The amount of spousal support paid can be agreed upon through negotiation or imposed by a court order. A lump sum may be ideal for childless parties who don’t want to interact with each other ever again.
SPOUSAL SUPPORT AMOUNTS
The amount of spousal support one former partner owes to the other is not set by law, but determined on the basis of several factors. These include the difference in the partners’ incomes, the roles each partner played during the relationship, each partner’s contributions to the relationship, the role played by each partner in raising any children, the ability of the payor to actually pay, and the ease with which the payee would likely be able to regain financial independence.
A general tool used by lawyers and the courts to determine spousal support obligations is the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, which take into account specific factors and are used to calculate spousal support amounts based on these factors. The results of these calculations are not in any way binding, but the courts often defer to them when dealing with spousal support matters.
SPOUSAL SUPPORT DURATION
Generally, the longer the marriage or cohabitation lasts, the longer the duration of spousal support. Of course, there are many circumstances that serve as exceptions to this generality.
Spousal support may be ordered for a longer duration if one of the parties is disabled or otherwise impeded from regaining or attaining financial independence. Conversely, spousal support may be ordered for a shorter duration if the parties have always maintained financial independence from each other and neither has become accustomed to being dependent.
ENFORCING SPOUSAL SUPPORT
If spousal support is ordered by the court or agreed upon by the parties, the court order or separation agreement may be registered with the Family Responsibility Office (or “FRO”). The FRO has the ability to enforce spousal support payments.
Enforcement of spousal support obligations can be done by garnishing the payor’s wages, suspending the payor’s driver’s license, and revoking the payor’s passport. Registering a spousal support order or agreement with the FRO also allows them to take over the receipt of payments from the payor to the payee, so that the parties do not need to interact.
CHANGING SPOUSAL SUPPORT
Spousal support payment amounts can sometimes need to be changed. This can be because the incomes of one or both of the parties has changed, or because of some other significant change in circumstances. Generally parties to a spousal support order or agreement are obligated to provide each other or the FRO with up to date financial information. Based on the updated information, a new spousal support amount may be calculated and imposed.
If the FRO is unable to make changes to the spousal support amount, or the parties’ spousal support order or agreement was not registered with FRO, a spousal support lawyer can make a motion to have the amount changed.
TAILOR LAW'S TORONTO SPOUSAL SUPPORT LAWYERS
If you are facing a divorce or separation, or need legal help with spousal support issues, the lawyers at Tailor Law are ready to help. Serving clients in Toronto, as well as throughout the GTA, our spousal support lawyers are efficient, compassionate, and will put your best case forward. We will listen to your specific needs and act in your interest.
Don’t be bullied into unfair spousal support payments. Don’t let yourself be denied the funds you’re entitled to. Whether you will be paying or receiving spousal support, you have rights. Call Tailor Law any time at 905-366-0202 to book your free consultation with a lawyer.