Spousal Support

Experienced Representation in Spousal Support Cases

Marriage is a family partnership. Like other partnerships, it has financial elements. In the appropriate case, a court may find one party entitled to financial support. Laws like the Divorce Act and Ontario’s Family Law Act give the courts direction on the issue. Courts must consider compensatory elements of a claim such as child care or a spouse’s sacrifice of career. Non-compensatory principles like need are also considered. While the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are helpful they do not have the force of law.

Spousal support (called alimony years ago) can become extremely complex in cases involving significant assets or income that the spouses have become accustomed to living on. Thorough analysis of income, assets and obligations may be required to sufficiently resolve spousal support disputes. The Toronto spousal support law firm of Thomas J. MacLennan, Barrister & Solicitor, offers extensive experience to clients in Toronto and throughout Ontario with complex divorce and high income spousal support matters.

Ontario Alimony Lawyer Advising Clients About Support Calculations

Spousal support laws have significantly evolved in recent years. Need and ability to pay were previously the main factors used in determining if a spousal support award was warranted. However, a number of factors are now used to consider whether spousal support should be awarded and, if so, how much should be awarded.

Some of the factors considered include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The assets, income and financial obligations of each party
  • The roles each party played in the marriage
  • The ongoing care of the children
  • The amount of support a spouse needs to become self-sufficient
  • The amount of support a spouse needs to meet his or her needs
  • Any spousal support provisions contained within a domestic contract, such as a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement
  • Other factors deemed important by the Family Court Justice

In certain cases involving common-law partners, the court may also award spousal support — particularly if the common-law spouses have lived together and supported one another for a long time.

Income Determinations in High Income/High Asset Divorce

Toronto spousal support lawyer Thomas J. MacLennan has more than 25 years of experience handling complex family law disputes. He educates our firm’s clients about how the court handles spousal support matters and advises them about how to protect their interests. This becomes extremely important in cases where one or both spouses have considerable assets or a high income level. Careful analysis of assets and income is necessary to ensure proper calculations of support are made.

When one or both parties run a business or own interests in a business, it is necessary to obtain a thorough business valuation to identify how the business is financially structured and may be assessed. Failure to obtain an accurate business valuation may result in an inaccurate assessment of income and, therefore, an improper spousal support award.

Thorough Protection of Your Financial Interests in Divorce

Our Ontario divorce and family law firm provides clients with informative, personalized and responsive legal counsel. Contact a skilled Toronto spousal support lawyer through our online form or call 416-591-1354 to arrange a consultation.