Dedicated to you and your family.
Transition and change to the family unit is difficult. We want to make it easier for you. We can assist with navigating the issues which arise upon separation and divorce. At Daroux Law we understand the legal, emotional, financial and other challenges which accompany these changes.
Spousal and Child Support
Spousal and Child support are distinct forms of financial support. Child support is a right in every case. Spousal support depends on certain circumstances.
Spousal support is the payment of financial support by one spouse to another after separation. A person may apply for spousal support upon separation if the couple was married or lived together in a common-law relationship for at least 2 years, or lived in a common-law relationship for less than 2 years but had a child together.
Spousal support may be awarded under either the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act. There are certain time limitations for entitlement to apply for support under the Family Law Act and thus it is important to obtain legal advice promptly. The amount and duration of spousal support may also be agreed between the parties. Parties could agree to have spousal support paid in a single payment (or lump sum) rather than monthly.
The factors a Court will consider in determining entitlement to spousal support include:
- a need for financial support in order to become self-sufficient;
- whether there will be an unequal change in the standards of living of the parties post-separation;
- whether there was financial dependence of one spouse on the other during the relationship; and
- whether one or the other will find it harder to get employment or will get lesser paying employment because of the role taken on during the relationship. This could include taking on a greater share of child-rearing responsibilities or household duties.
Once entitlement is established the remaining 2 issues are quantum (how much) and duration (how long) spousal support will be paid. There are no hard and fast rules to determine the above. The federal Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines provide some assistance in determining quantum and duration in the case of separation in B.C. Parties are also able to negotiate a resolution of spousal support.
We assist you in determining the issues surrounding spousal support. We help negotiate a fair resolution of those issues or advocate on your behalf in Court if an acceptable agreement cannot be reached.
Child support is the legal right of the child. However it is typically paid by one parent to another. The base amount of child support to be paid in British Columbia is based on the federal Child Support Guidelines. The issue of child support must be resolved before a divorce can be obtained as a Judge cannot make a Divorce Order without first being satisfied that acceptable financial arrangements are in place for any children of the marriage.
The duty to pay child support generally continues until a child turns 19 years old. The duty continues beyond that if a child remains a dependent for various reasons including disability or because pursuing post-secondary education.
If a child remains largely with one parent then child support is typically paid to that parent by the other. If a child spends roughly equal time with both parents then child support is paid by the higher income earner to the other, with adjustments to reflect the shared responsibility. Other guardians and step-parents may also have a duty to support a child.
There are many factors relating to child support that will depend on the circumstances of a particular family. We assist you in understanding rights and responsibilities relating to child support in your unique situation and help you to arrive at a fair and equitable resolution of child support issues.