Spousal Support Lawyer in Vancouver
Our team of experienced spousal support lawyers at Thomas and Associates is dedicated to providing excellent service through our skilled and vigilant representation to protect YOUR rights. Our lawyers have combined experience of 38 years pertaining to family law matters, including spousal, custody division, separation agreements, and common law relationships.
We have helped many clients through very difficult and upsetting circumstances. Understanding that family law matters are highly personal in their nature, we strive to save our clients time with our practical service.
What is Spousal Support?
When a relationship ends, it is common for one spouse to be in a better economic position than the other. Deciding on entitlement to spousal support, and how much, if any, should be paid, is often an important aspect of divorce or separation.
In British Columbia the determination of spousal support is a complex process because it involves the consideration of various factors including the occupation of each spouse during the marriage, the length of the marriage, age, physical health and the career potential of each party.
Spousal support is money that is paid by one spouse to another as financial assistance to ease his/her inability to maintain a standard of living similar to the standard of living that was enjoyed during the relationship or to lessen some financial disadvantage that one spouse experienced as a result of something that happened during the marriage, such as staying out of the workforce for years to raise children.
The basic principles of spousal support law in B.C. are as follows:
- Spousal support is a payment from one spouse to another in support of the spouse.
- Spousal support is not child support, which is payable by one parent to another parent in relation to the support of children.
- Spousal support is calculated under the Federal Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. The online spousal support calculator is based on these guidelines.
What Factors Determine the Need for Spousal Support?
When the courts are determining if spousal support should be ordered, they take into account:
- The amount of time the couple lived together
- Whether the recipient is staying at home – or stayed at home previously – to raise children
- Any previous agreements or arrangements that have been made regarding support
- The responsibilities and conduct of each spouse during the relationship
Who Can Apply for Spousal Support in British Columbia?
Under B.C.’s Family Law Act, a separated spouse can apply for spousal support. Usually, this application is brought before a divorce is granted, but not always. As long as the applicant is a “spouse” as defined in the Act, it does not matter whether the couple was married or unmarried (common-law).
Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are advisory guidelines only. They are not binding on the courts. That means a judge may decide to depart from the guidelines and order support in a higher or lower amount than indicated by the guidelines.
That said, B.C. courts tend to follow the Guidelines very closely, and depart only where there are very compelling reasons to do so.
Why Choose Thomas & Associates?
Our experienced spousal support lawyers at Thomas and Associates can be a strong advocate in your spousal support claim or defense. Too many times, we have seen unrepresented litigants appear in court without the knowledge or information required to properly present or respond to a claim. A good lawyer can often present your case in a manner that leads to a different result.
We take a practical approach and we know the law and the factors to consider. We value ongoing legal education and we study spousal support cases on a regular and consistent basis to ensure that we are up to date on the most current legal trends and are able to offer those benefits to our clients.
At Thomas and Associates, we work to achieve positive outcomes for clients involved in spousal support proceedings in British Columbia.