What Qualifies Someone for Spousal Support

Whether you are making an application for spousal support, or responding to an application that has been made against you, it is important that you understand the relevant family law issues. How Do I Know If I am Entitled to Spousal Support? The first question to ask yourself is whether your soon-to-be former spouse would qualify for spousal support under family law. ​​Spousal support is not available in all family law cases. It will depend on your family law situation, including but not limited to factors such as family property division and the presence of children. Generally speaking, if you are married or in a common-law relationship, you could be entitled to spousal support under family law.Below we have listed situations where you are entitled to spousal support.

Spousal Support Might Be Automatic

If family law applies to your relationship, then a spouse might be entitled to spousal support under family law. In most family law cases, the obligation to provide spousal support is based on “need” rather than any perceived duty or entitlement of one spouse towards another. In other words, the court will only order spousal support where it is required to do so, and not simply because one party wants it.

Spousal Support Might Be Discretionary

In family law cases, spousal support will only be ordered for a limited period of time – depending on the length of the parties’ relationship – and will end upon remarriage or cohabitation (living together). Spousal support might also be limited to a specific purpose, like education or training for employment.

A family law spousal support order is intended to provide financial assistance while the spouse receiving it gets back on his or her financial feet and becomes “self-supporting”.

Spousal Support Might Be Reasonable

The amount of family law spousal support will only be the minimum necessary to allow the spouse receiving it to become self-supporting. The family law court is not required to order that level of support, but may order a higher level where appropriate.

Spousal support might also be reduced if the recipient is “cohabiting” with another adult, or has started a family with that person.

Spousal Support Might Be Ordered as Part of a Property Settlement

In family law cases there is usually an equal division of family property and family debt. In those situations, it might be possible for one spouse to receive more family property as well as spousal support.

The family law court can order spousal support without first making an equal division of family property and family debt, but it is more common for family law courts to do so

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