Alimony

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Alimony During Divorce

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Sidhu Lawyers is a top-rated family law firm in Surrey, British Columbia. Every time our clients come to us for a consultation, we realize there is a lot of confusion on how family law works in Canada – Things such as divorce proceedings, child custody, the division of property, alimony and child support. These FAQs on Alimony in Canada should throw light on some of the issues you’ve been grappling with. Let’s get started.

 

What is alimony?

Alimony or spousal support refers to a court-ordered financial support, usually from an ex-husband to an ex-wife following separation or divorce. The chief provider during the marriage is responsible for paying the alimony: usually it is the husband, but in many cases these days, it is the wife.

Almost always alimony payments are made from the higher earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse. The purpose of alimony is to compensate one of the ex-spouses for the sacrifices made during the marriage, such as an ex-wife giving up her career to be a stay at home mom while the ex-husband stayed focused on his job or business.

 

 Is alimony the same as child support?

Alimony is similar to child support in the sense that it is a financial obligation of one ex-spouse to another. But child support is meant for the child, while alimony is meant to support an ex-spouse. Children are involved in child support; children may or may not be involved in a situation where alimony has been determined.

Another important difference is that missing out child support payments is considered to be a criminal act in Canada and could result in the person being sentenced to prison. Missing out on alimony payments invites legal sanction, but is not a serious criminal offense.

 

When is an alimony awarded?

The court may award alimony in the following cases…

#1: The length of the marriage– Generally alimony payments are considered only if the couple has been married for 10 years or more.

#2: One person is not working– Alimony payments are made to an ex-spouse that stayed at home while the other spouse was working – provided the marriage has exceeded 10 years in duration.

#3: Difference in income level– If the marriage exceeds 10 years and both spouses are working, alimony can be awarded if there is a great disparity in income between the two spouses.

#4: Age of the ex-spouse– Alimony payments are bigger for older spouses and are required to be made for a longer duration of time. There is an obvious reason for this – the older an ex-wife is, the less marketable she is, and may find it harder to find a job and get back the standard of living she was used to.

#5: Maintaining the standard of living– Alimony payments are based on the standard of living that the ex-spouse was used to during the marriage, which she stands to lose following the divorce. The court awards a suitable alimony to help the ex-spouse make up for the financial loss following the end of the marriage.

 

What types of alimony in do we have in British Columbia?

Alimony in British Columbia is paid either on a monthly basis or as a lump sum payment and is determined by the family law judge. The amount to be paid and the duration are decided by the court on a case to case basis.

Did you get divorced or separated recently? Are you worried about your alimony payments? Has your ex-spouse failed to keep up with their obligations to you? We have a team of talented and experienced lawyers who can help. Contact the legal team at Sidhu Lawyers, one of the leading law firms in Surrey, BC to arrange a consultation.

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