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Spousal Support With Children Calculations
 
Amount
 
The SSAG uses the following formula to calculate the amount of spousal support where there are dependent children living with the Recipient:
 
1.            Take the Payor’s income as indicated on line 150 of their most recently filed income tax return - child support payments based on the Child Support Guidelines or by court order - Taxes and mandatory deductions [ E.I., C.P.P., Union dues or professional fees, medical/dental insurance if the former spouse or dependent child receives coverage, but not mandatory private pension contributions ] = Payor’s Individual Net Disposable income

2.            Take the Recipient’s income as indicated on line 150 of their most recently filed income tax return - Notional Child Support* - Taxes and Deductions + Child Tax Benefit + National Child Benefit + GST credit = Recipient’s Individual Net Disposable income.

*Notional Child Support is the child support the Recipient would pay based on their income according to the Child Support Guidelines.
 
3.            Add Payor’s Individual Net Disposable income + Recipient’s Individual Net Disposable income = Combined Net Disposable Income.
 
4.            The Payor would pay to the Recipient an amount so that the Recipient receives 40 - 46% Combined Net Disposal Income.
 
5.            Factors determining where within the 40 - 46 % range the support payments would fall include:
 
·                     age, number and needs of the dependent children;
·                     the extent to which spousal support is based on compensatory support;
·                     disadvantages the Recipient will sustain meeting future parenting responsibilities;
·                     age of the Recipient
·                     needs of the Recipient
·                     Payor’s ability to pay, and
·                     marital standard of living before break down.
 
Duration
 
The maximum duration for support calculated under the with children formula is the time when the youngest child becomes independent. This is usually when the youngest child finishes school, and reaches the age of 19, but the real test is whether the child is able to provide for themselves.
 
Reviews as to amount can take place at stages such as when the youngest child starts at school full time and the Recipient may be able to work and earn more.
Note that a Recipient may still be eligible under the spousal support without children model after the child or children are no longer dependents.
 
 
Spousal Support Without Children Calculations
 
Calculating the amount of spousal support where there are no dependent children is a three step process:
 
1.            Multiply each year of marriage by 1.5 % and 2%.;
 
2.            Calculate the difference between the parties’ gross income, and
 
3.            Use the percentage derived from step 1 to multiply the difference in the parties’ incomes, derived from step 2.
 
·                     The term “each year of marriage” includes each year of cohabitation before marriage.
·                     The maximum percentage of the gross income difference is 50%.
·                     An example of how the Guidelines work is as follows:
·                     Mr. X earns $60,000.00 gross income per year. Mrs. X earns $15,000.00 gross income per year.
·                     The difference is $45,000.00 per year.
·                     4 years of marriage puts the multiplier at : 1.5% x 4 years = 6% or 2 % x 4 years = 8%.
 
The range of support would be:

1.         6% of $45,000.00 = $2,700.00 per year, to
 
2.         8% of $45,000.00 = $3,600.00 per year.
 
Or:       $225.00 - $300.00 per month.
 
Duration
 
In most cases, duration is calculated by multiplying each year of marriage by .5 to 1.
So, for a 4 year marriage, the duration of support would be calculated: 4 years x .5 = 2 years, and 4 years x 1 = 4 years. The appropriate range for duration would be 2 - 4 years.
 
Factors that affect both amount and duration include:
 
  • whether the Recipient has a strong compensatory claim, which would increase entitlement;

  • the needs of the Recipient;

  • the net amount of property divided between the spouses;

  • the extent to which property was unequally divided;

  • the ability of the Payor to pay, and

  • the promotion of self-sufficiency in the Recipient within a reasonable period of time.

 
Duration: the 65 rule.
 
If the years of marriage added to the age of the Recipient at the date of separation equals or exceeds 65, then the support would be for an “indefinite period.”
 
However, the “65 rule” does not apply to short term marriages, defined as being under 5 years in length. So, if the potential Recipient is 63 at the time of separation, but the marriage only lasted 3 years, the Guidelines do not advise indefinite support.
 
This article is for general information only, and should not be relied on as legal advice in any particular case. Consult a lawyer for advice on your case.
 
At our firm the lawyer to consult is Patrick McMurchy. To schedule an initial consultation with Patrick McMurchy, please call 250-753-6435 or email: linda@islandlaw.ca.

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