Regarding divorce, one of the most contentious issues can be spousal support. Spousal support is money paid by one ex-spouse to the other, typically to help them maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage.
There is no guarantee in Canada that you will have to pay or receive spousal support – it all depends on your circumstances. However, there are some steps that can be taken in order to avoid having to pay spousal support or to reduce the amount
you may have to pay.
Here are eight ways to avoid getting and paying spousal support in Canada:
1) Ensure Good Settlement Agreement
The first way to avoid paying spousal support is to ensure that you have a good settlement agreement. A good settlement agreement will set out the terms of your divorce, including how much spousal support, if any, will be paid.
2) Maintain the Standard of Living
The second way to avoid paying spousal support is to maintain the standard of living that you and your spouse enjoyed during the marriage. This means that you will need to keep your income at the same level and not make any major changes to your lifestyle.
3) Quicken and Secure the Divorce
Another way to avoid paying spousal support is to secure and quicken the divorce. The sooner the divorce is finalized, the less likely it is that you will have to pay spousal support. This is because the divorce will be over, and there will be no need for support.
4) Prove Spouse Adultery
If your spouse has committed adultery, you may be able to avoid paying spousal support. However, this isn’t always the case in certain parts of Canada. It’s key to prove that your spouse committed adultery and that you did not consent to it.
5) Show The Lack of Needing Support
In some cases, you can prove that your spouse is capable of supporting themselves. This may just be the case if they have a job and can support themselves. It is quite important to show that you are not necessary for your spouse’s support.
6) Bring Up a Previous Agreement
If you and your spouse have already agreed to a divorce settlement, you may be able to bring up this agreement to avoid paying spousal support. Allow your lawyer to bring up this agreement to the court to avoid paying spousal support.
7) Note Personal Financial Hardship
If you are facing personal financial hardship, then you may be able to avoid paying spousal support. Granted, you will have to prove to the court that you are incapable of covering such costs. This may be the case when facing medical bills or other expenses.
8) Request Modification
If you are unable to pay spousal support, you can request to have the terms modified. The court may offer you a lower payment each month or a longer time to pay provided that you have the proof to justify such an adjustment.
Keep in mind that the court does have the final say in deciding whether or not to award spousal support, so be ready to accept whatever decision is made. Be sure to have an experienced lawyer guide you throughout your case in order to secure the outcome you desire.
Want to know more about spousal support? Dreyer and Associates Family Lawyers is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. Get in touch with us today!