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What you should know about spousal support | Gittens, de Beer & Associates

Are you getting divorced or separated? The matter of spousal support may be crucial. Visit Gittens & Associates in St John to understand your rights.

What you should know about spousal support Following a divorce or separation, the matter of spousal support may become crucial. Understanding your rights, however, can be a challenge. Here is what you should know about spousal support in Newfoundland and Labrador. What is spousal support? Spousal support is money that gets regularly paid to an ex-spouse or partner to help them cover living expenses once a relationship has ended. The purpose of spousal support is to prevent one of the spouses from facing economic hardship after the relationship has ended. The payments are also intended to be a way to compensate a spouse for the financial impact of the relationship on them (for instance, if they stopped working to take care of children). The goal is to help the spouse maintain financial independence. When spousal support is awarded, judges and lawyers will often refer to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAGs) to help determine how much money the spouse should receive. Is spousal support mandatory? Spousal support is not mandatory. There are cases where it will not be awarded. Since Canada has no-fault divorce law, the reason the relationship ended has no bearing on the legal obligations of a spouse, including support payments. How is spousal support awarded? It is customary for payments to be discussed and agreed upon by both partners. If, however, no agreement can be reached, either regarding the amount to be paid, the length of time it should be paid or on the obligation to provide financial support itself, then the case can go to court. There, a judge will examine the situation and determine whether the spouse is entitled to financial support and if so, how much support they should be given and for how long. Why might spousal support be denied? Support can be denied for many reasons. However, the key factor is whether it can be established that without support payments, the spouse would face financial hardship. Thus, if a spouse has maintained their income or now has a higher income than they had during the relationship, support can be denied. The matter can be complex and it is always best to consult with a family lawyer who has experience with the area of spousal support. Family law experts in Newfoundland Gittens & Associates is a full service law firm, and we are here to help you get the support you need. If you are dealing with divorce proceedings, a custody dispute or financial support negotiations, you can count on us to defend your rights. Contact us today to find out how we can help.


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