Determining whether spousal support, including how much it should be and how long it should last, can quickly become a very emotionally charged struggle.
Spousal support depends on a number of factors. The federal government publishes Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines to help us begin the conversation, but they are meant as suggestions only. It is perfectly normal to decide to bypass spousal support completely, especially if the marriage has not been lengthy or both spouses are self-sufficient.
For the most part, spousal support is seen as a temporary measure only, until the lower-earning spouse gets back on his or her feet.
A Balancing Act
We use the guidelines as a starting point, then look at the factors in your own marriage to determine a reasonable amount with the suggested range. A number of factors influence spousal support, including:
- The ages of both spouses
- Earning power and earning potential
- Division of property, particularly if one spouse has ended up with the marital home or significant assets
- The history of the marriage, including factors such as one spouse having put the other through professional school, or sacrificing a job or career to further the other spouse’s career or to raise their children
- Any other factors such as ill health of either spouse
We can help you negotiate for fair support, and help your spouse see reason if he or she is being unreasonable and feels that the decisions would be better made in court.