When a couple gets a divorce, spousal support may be awarded to one of the spouses. This can be based either on an agreement between partners or on a decision made by the court itself. The purpose being to limit the number of unfair economic effects encountered by a spouse who is unemployed or makes a lower wage. Sometimes a spouse may have chosen to forego a career in order to support a family and therefore needs time to develop a skill set to financially support themselves.
Below are some of the factors the court considers when making a determination on spousal support:
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The length of marriage
- The ability of the spouse to pay prior to trial
- The assets and obligations of each party
- The age, physical condition, emotional state and fincancial condition of the former spouses
- The length of time the recipient would need for education and occupational training
Permanent spousal support for a marriage lasting less than 10 years will usually last half of the length of the marriage. The duration can be longer or shorter, however, subject to the Court’s discretion based on the facts and issues presented. There is a general expectation that the spouse will make efforts to become self-sufficient and this expectation is factored into the Judgement.