Spousal Support or Alimony

It is often the case that after separation, one spouse is left is worse financial situation, especially where one parent is staying at home to look after the children hence not working at all.

The aim of Spousal support is to balance the standard of living of both parties after separation, especially in the case of long-term relationships. Spouse in law is considered where two people co-habit together in a marriage like relationship, they do not need to be officially married to qualify for spousal support. However Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines help the to determine what factors are necessary for spousal supports.

Factor Determining Spousal Support

The Obligation to Spousal Support depends on various factors, however the first step is to identify (if any) child support amount is payable by the spouse. If so then the courts will consider whether the paying spouse is left with any disposalable income. If yes then the courts will apply some the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines test. Among many other factors the following are the key factors the courts consider at first.

  1. Length of marriage.
  2. The Contribution of each spouse during the co-habitation period, such as one spouse stayed at home to look after the children.
  3. The Financial dependence of each spouse during the course of co-habitation.
  4. Any agreements or arrangements during the course of the co-habitation or pertaining to children.
  5. Economic disadvantage of each spouse due to the break up of marriage.

Spousal Support Tax Tips

You can claim deduction from your income tax if you are making regular spousal support payments under an Separation agreement or a Court Order. On the other hand if you are a recipient of the Spousal Support then such payments will be treated as your income, under the tax law. It is important to note that you can only claim such deduction from your income if you have your Separation Agreement or Court Order registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. It is also important to note that lump sum payments are not treated as a tax deductible and your recipient spouse would also have to report that amount as his/her income.

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