Divorce can be a challenging time, especially when it involves spousal support. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the payment made by one spouse to another following a divorce or separation. Its purpose is to help the receiving spouse maintain their lifestyle and adapt to their new financial circumstances. However, disputes over spousal support can arise, and it can be challenging to handle it alone. This article will discuss when to seek the assistance of a lawyer to navigate spousal support in Canada.
Understanding Spousal Support
Spousal support is determined based on several factors, including the length of the marriage or cohabitation, the income and earning potential of both spouses, and the needs of the receiving spouse. In Canada, spousal support can be awarded in either lump sum payments or ongoing payments for a specified period. The goal of spousal support is to ensure that both spouses can maintain a reasonable standard of living after the separation or divorce.
When to Hire a Lawyer
While it is possible to navigate the spousal support process on your own, there are several situations where hiring a lawyer can be beneficial. These include:
1. High-Conflict Divorce
If your divorce is high-conflict, it may be challenging to negotiate spousal support on your own. In these situations, emotions can run high, and it can be difficult to communicate effectively with your ex-spouse. A lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure that your interests are protected.
2. Complex Finances
Finances are often a significant factor in divorce negotiations, and if your financial situation is complex, it may be wise to seek the guidance of a lawyer. This could include situations where you or your spouse own a business, have significant assets or debts, or have investments that require careful consideration.
3. Self-Employment or Unemployment
If you or your spouse is self-employed or unemployed, determining an appropriate amount of spousal support can be challenging. A lawyer can help you navigate these situations and ensure that your income is accurately represented.
4. Child Support Disputes
Spousal support and child support are often intertwined, and disputes about one can impact the other. If you are facing a child support dispute, it may be beneficial to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the process.
5. Changes in Circumstances
If your circumstances or your ex-spouse’s circumstances have changed since the spousal support order was initially made, it may be necessary to modify the order. A lawyer can help you navigate this process and ensure that the modification is fair and reasonable.
Navigating spousal support can be a complicated and challenging process. While it is possible to do it on your own, hiring a lawyer can provide several benefits, including expertise and experience, protection of your rights, and a reduction in stress. If you are facing a spousal support dispute, contact a family law lawyer to help you navigate the process and ensure that your interests are protected.
If you’re going through a separation or divorce, it’s important to have an experienced family law firm on your side. At Dreyer and Associates, we understand the complexities of family law and are dedicated to preserving the best interests of families in Langley, Surrey, and throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Our team can help you navigate the process of creating separation agreements and provide expert advice on all aspects of family law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you with spousal support and divorce.