If you’re going through a divorce, you may be eligible for spousal support. However, it’s not an automatic right. There are a few things that everyone should know about spousal support in Ontario. Find out if you may be eligible for it.

Who gets spousal support?

Spousal support is a right that is reserved for certain people in certain situations. If the end of your relationship left you in financial need, you may be eligible for it. Likewise, you may be entitled to compensation because of certain economic results of your marriage. Or, you and your partner may have a contract that lays out an obligation for spousal support.

In any of those situations, you may be eligible for spousal support. You should know that spousal support is not only for married individuals. Whether or not you were married, you may be eligible. Unmarried spouses can apply for spousal support. By law, the term spouse refers to a couple who lives together for at least three years. Or, they need to cohabitate as parents (either adoptive or biological).

How is spousal support calculated?

There are guidelines for calculating spousal support. However, the guidelines don’t give you a set number. Instead, they give you a range. They tell you the minimum and maximum amount of support that you may get. The guidelines use a formula to come up with the range and length of your support. Sometimes, a couple chooses to come up with one payout instead of a monthly sum. As long as the court agrees, that’s a viable option.

The formula takes a few things into account. First, there’s the amount of time you and your partner resided at the same address. If you and your partner were married, the court considers the length of your marriage as well as any time you lived together before it.

Another important factor is whether or not you and your partner have a child support agreement. If you do have one, there is a special formula to calculate the amount of spousal support. For people with no child support agreement, there’s a second formula.

Does spousal support require going to court?

If you want spousal support, you may not need to go to court. Many times, couples create a spousal support agreement in their separation agreement. If you can’t come to agreement, you might need to negotiate with family law lawyers. They can work with you and your partner to come up with an arrangement with which you all agree. It’s a cheaper and easier alternative than court. However, you do need to agree on the terms. If you can’t, you may need to take your case to court.

If you do need to head to court, you need an experienced attorney at your side. He can explain what you need to do to get spousal support, and he can help you get it. With his help, you can get the agreement that you deserve. If you think that you might be entitled to spousal support, click here to find out more about it.