Simply put, spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other after they separate. Other words for spousal support are alimony or spousal maintenance. We also need to draw a careful distinction between spousal support, and child support, as they are two uniquely different topics.
The eligibility criteria for spousal support are:
- You were married; or
- You lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years;
- You lived together in a marriage-like relationship for less than two years and have a child together.
It is key to note that spousal support is not automatically required, rather, it has to be applied for or agreed upon in a separation agreement. The courts will consider many different criteria when you apply for spousal support, including the following:
- Did one of you stay home to look after the children so the other person could work or study?
- Was one person’s career more important than the other’s?
- Did one of you move so the other person could advance their career?
- Will it be hard for either of you to find a job because you’ve been out of work, due to looking after the children?
- Were either of you financially dependent on the other throughout the relationship?
- Will your standard of living go down or your spouse’s go up significantly because your relationship has ended?
- Will you need financial help for a while to become self-sufficient post-separation?
- Do you both work but you both have very different incomes?
Although we mention court here, court is a last resort in our opinion at Pathway Legal.
We suggest you do what you can to move your family law matter forward and avoid court as much as possible. Most often, if you and your soon to be ex-spouse have lawyers, you will be able to negotiate the support arrangement in your family.
If you are someone who wants advice about Spousal Support, Pathway Legal is here to help.
The whole team at Pathway Legal has your back. We will guide you and your changing family’s circumstances to the new beginning you deserve.
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