Spousal support is something that a lot of people don’t really want to speak about. It can be awkward, and it’s not a topic that makes anyone feel great.
But, everyone must know about this. Because if you’re in a situation where there is spousal support involved, you should be aware of how to not pay spousal support in Canada.
Let’s start from the basics – what is spousal support, how to get it, and how you can avoid spousal support.
What is Spousal Support?
When a couple gets divorced, one of the things that they have to deal with is spousal support, AKA alimony. This means that under certain conditions, one spouse may have to pay money to the other.
The couple will agree on how much money is paid and for how long. If they do not agree to the terms, they have to go before a judge who will decide. The judge will consider many different things when determining how much money should pay to the spouse.
How To Get Spousal support in Canada?
Spousal support is not automatic. Many factors come into play when determining who has to pay support and how much they pay.
A judge will look at things like—
- The length of the marriage.
- How long have you been married
- How much each person earns/makes
- Whether or not either one of you has custody of any children.
12 Ways You Can Avoid Spousal Support in Canada
Spousal support can be expensive, both for the person paying and the person receiving. The following points will help you know how not to pay spousal support Canada:
Good Settlement Agreement
If you’re contemplating a divorce settlement, make sure that it is fair. You don’t want to end up in court because the terms of your settlement are neglected.
Maintain Your Standard of Living
Sometimes a judge will order alimony to help the spouse maintain their standard of living. In this case, you have to prove that even without child support or anything else, you don’t have enough money to pay for basic expenses. By this, you can avoid spousal support.
End Your Marriage Quickly
In some cases, when one spouse is being supported by the other, quickly getting a divorce will help avoid spousal support. If you have been separated for a long time, then this might not apply to you.
Prove Your Spouse’s Adultery
In some cases, if your spouse could not keep part of the bargain during the marriage, that led to your divorce. Then, you may want to mention this when promoting your case. In this way, you can avoid spousal support from them.
Prove That Your Spouse Doesn’t Need Any Financial Support
If you can show that your ex-partner doesn’t need financial support whatsoever, then paying spousal support may not be a good idea. Defend yourself from claims they make about being in dire straits, and proving them wrong can help you avoid spousal support payments.
Prove a Previous Agreement
If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement or another kind of contract in place, then making sure that it is followed will help avoid spousal support payments. If there was no such agreement before the marriage, this could not be used as a reason not to pay spousal support.
Contributing to the Depletion of Assets
If you have a good reason to prove that paying alimony would be a bad idea, the judge might consider that when making their final decision. If you can show that contributing more money will result in your ex-partner’s depletion of financial resources, then the court will not order alimony. whenever it happens, you can avoid paying spousal support altogether.
Prove Financial Hardship
Providing evidence of financial hardship can also help you avoid spousal support payments. If you cannot pay for essentials, having an income shortfall because of spousal support would definitely qualify as a hardship and convince a judge not to order alimony.
Request a Modification
If you believe that your ex-partner will afford the spousal support payments within a few months, you might ask for a modification. Sometimes, judges will agree because it can be easier than going through all the paperwork again.
No Custodial Rights of Spouse
A spouse who does not have the right to custody of any children from a relationship is usually not ordered to pay spousal support. They have never had possession of the child and cannot expect to contribute financially towards their needs.
Follow Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
If you are not willing to pay spousal support, your divorce agreement must follow the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. This will help prove that alimony was unnecessary because of your willingness to try and follow these rules.
Don’t Make Any Hasty Decisions
Finally, if you are thinking about how to not pay spousal support, Canada knows that rushing into anything can backfire. Consider all of your options thoroughly before making a decision. That way, you can avoid making decisions that could ultimately harm you financially.
How Can Lawyers Help You Avoid Spousal Support?
Many divorce lawyers will offer you their services on a contingency basis (no win, no fee) if they think that the chances of winning your case are high. After all, avoiding spousal support is in everyone’s best interests. So lawyers will do whatever they can to ensure it happens.
They can help you in ways like:
- Advise you on the best possible ways to avoid spousal support.
- Helping you establish a divorce settlement that will not require any alimony payments.
- Prepare all the necessary paperwork for your case. That includes official documents regarding financial records and necessities.
- Get your case looked at by a judge so that they can decide what is fair.
- Ensure having the chance to provide your side of the story to understand better why spousal support payments should not happen.
Finally, if you are looking for how to not pay spousal support in Canada, you can do everything mentioned above. You may also need to speak with lawyers who will help you avoid spousal support payments by giving you advice, putting together the paperwork, and getting your case heard in front of a judge.
Check out some frequently asked questions about how not to pay spousal support in Canada.
Do You Have To Pay Spousal Support in Canada?
As long as you are married or have lived together for at least 2 years, your spouse will qualify for support payments.
Does Alimony Last Forever?
No. You have to pay spousal support until certain conditions are met. One of which is if your ex-partner gets remarried or enters into another common-law relationship. How long alimony will continue depends on the judge’s final decision.
How Long Does It Take To Get Spousal Support?
It usually takes between 6 and 18 months for the court to decide on spousal support.