Spousal Support | Alimony2018-10-10T23:14:04+00:00

Spousal Support | Alimony

Support Guidelines
Remarriage
Self-Employment Income
Family Responsibility Office

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, is perhaps the murkiest area of family law.  It is fraught with emotion and case law is generally inconsistent with respect to the quantum (how much support is ordered) and duration (for how long support must be paid) of spousal support.

Aside from the lack of certainty, another key distinction between child and spousal support is that spousal support is tax deductible to the payer and taxable to the recipient as income (child support has no tax consequences).

As a general rule, the longer you have been married, the longer your spousal support obligation, and, the greater the discrepancy between your respective incomes, the more onerous your spousal support obligation.  Courts look at the pattern that was established in the relationship.  For example – if one spouse worked outside of the home and earned a high income, while the other spouse stayed home with the children while they were small and later chose to work part-time – after the parties separate, especially after a long-term marriage, the court may be loath to force the dependant spouse to work full time immediately following separation.  This may seem very frustrating to the payer who complains that while s/he is working long hours, most of his/her money ends up going to an ex who “chooses” to stay at home and engage in social activities throughout the day.  Naturally, the recipient has an entirely different perspective to this situation – after all, s/he sacrificed his/her career and his/her own aspirations for the family, and now that s/he is older, s/he cannot possibly be sent out to fend for himself/herself.

Regardless of which perspective one chooses to adopt in the above dispute, it is important to keep in mind that, where family law is concerned, habits are important.  If you have established a certain pattern of parenting and financial obligations throughout your marriage, you should not expect these patterns to be deviated from drastically immediately following separation.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAG”)

The primary calculation for determining the amount of spousal support is referred to as the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAG”).   Assuming entitlement to spousal support, lawyers and judges look at the three amounts suggested by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines/SSAG calculation – representing the low, the mid, and the high ranges of monthly spousal support.

One misconception regarding spousal support is that a party is not entitled to spousal support unless he or she has the children.  Although courts generally believe that the parent with the children requires the greater disposable income, courts may require the parent with the children to pay the other parent spousal support, especially if the other parent has much lower income.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Remarriage/Cohabitation with Another Person

A common misunderstanding regarding spousal support is that the payer’s obligation ends as soon as the recipient finds a new mate.  This may not be the case.  In some circumstances, it is possible for a recipient to be living with another individual and still be entitled to collect spousal support from the ex-spouse.  Even remarriage may not always mean an end to spousal support.

Contact us at Mahdi Leite Family Law so that we may advise you on your specific circumstances.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Self-Employment Income – Family Business Income

In determining spousal support, much confusion is caused by the case of the self-employed parent.   When a spouse is an employee and s/he has no other source of income (i.e. rental income, dividend income, etc.), determining his or her support obligation is simple, one need only look at her T4 slip (assuming that all taxable benefits are included in the T4) and the Child Support Guidelines (in the case of child support) and Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines/SSAG (in the case of spousal support).  When the spouse is self-employed, one needs to examine the payer’s income tax return and corporate tax return in considerable detail.  Many items that are legitimate business write offs for tax purposes are not legitimate write offs for the purpose of determining a spouse’s spousal support obligation.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Family Responsibility Office

The Family Responsibility Office (“FRO”) is a government-funded agency whose mandate it is to collect support from the payor and give this money to the recipient.

The Family Responsibility Office/FRO enforces both Child Support and Spousal Support.

The Family Responsibility Office has significant powers – it can garnish the payor’s salary, it can negatively impact the payor’s credit report, it can suspect the payor’s license, it can place a writ against the payor’s property, it can suspend the payor’s driver’s license, it can suspend the payor’s passport, and it can ultimately send the payor to jail if he or she fails to pay child and/or spousal support pursuant to a court Order or the written agreement of the parties.

Sometimes, the payor may bring a court action against the Family Responsibility Office to put a hold on its enforcement actions.

Mahdi Leite Family Law is here to advise and guide you through every step in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call (416) 284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilylaw.ca

Make An Appointment

Mahdi Leite Family Law will provide you with the information and legal tools you need. To book a free consultation in Toronto or Mississauga, please call 416-284-2354 or email us at reception@mlfamilyLaw.ca

A new path lies ahead. Mahdi Leite Family Law will guide you.

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