Spousal support is a financial payment that one spouse may be obligated to pay to the other spouse after a separation or divorce. It is designed to address the financial imbalance that can occur as a result of marriage or a long-term relationship. In British Columbia, spousal support is governed by the Federal Divorce Act and the Family Law Act.

One of the key factors that determines the amount and duration of spousal support is the concept of marital hardship. Marital hardship occurs when one spouse has made sacrifices or suffered financially as a result of the relationship, and is therefore in need of financial support from the other spouse. In determining the amount and duration of spousal support, the court will consider a number of factors, including the length of the marriage or relationship, the roles each spouse played during the relationship, and the income and earning potential of each spouse.

Another important factor in determining spousal support is the ability of the spouse receiving support to become self-sufficient. If the spouse receiving support has the ability to become self-sufficient through education, training, or employment, the court may limit the duration of support.

In BC, spousal support can be either payable on a periodic basis (such as monthly), or as a lump sum. Periodic spousal support is typically paid until the recipient spouse becomes self-sufficient, the payor spouse dies, or the recipient spouse remarries. Lump sum spousal support, on the other hand, is a one-time payment that is intended to provide financial support for a specific period of time.

It’s important to note that spousal support is not automatic, and must be claimed by the spouse seeking support. Spousal support can be agreed upon by the spouses themselves, or it can be determined by the court after a trial. In either case, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a family law lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

In conclusion, spousal support is a complex and often emotional issue in family law. If you’re facing a separation or divorce in BC and are concerned about spousal support, it’s important to understand your rights and obligations under the law, and to seek the advice of a family law lawyer. With the right support and guidance, you can ensure that your financial interests are protected, and that you receive the financial support you need to move forward after a separation or divorce.

To learn more or to discuss your specific situation, please call one of our experienced lawyers at 604 265 8400 or filling out the online contact form.

Written by Sumit Ahuja

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