Barrie Hayes, Partner

The differing approaches to the calculation of spousal support under the spousal support advisory guidelines.

The spousal support advisory guidelines contain formulaic calculations to assist in the calculation of both quantum (amount) and duration of spousal support.

The guidelines contain markedly different formulaic calculations when addressing spousal support calculation where there are no dependent children and spousal support calculation where there are dependent children. Both formulaic calculations however use income sharing as the method for determining the amount of spousal support. Both formulaic calculation produce ranges for the amount and duration of support.

The ‘without child’ support formulaic calculation focuses on two factors the gross income difference between the spouses and the length of time the parties were married. The amount of spousal support ranges from 1.5 to 2 percent of the difference between the spouses gross incomes for each year of marriage/cohabitation up to a maximum of 50%. The calculation in addressing the amount of support reflects the principle that as a marriage grows longer spouses increasingly intertwine their economic and non-economic lives. The gross income difference is seen as indicator of the differential loss of the marital standard of living upon separation.

The ‘without child’ support formulaic calculation calculates the duration, or length of support entitlement, on the basis of ranges from .5 to 1 year for each year of marriage. Duration of support becomes indefinite, or without any recommended termination or review date, when the marriages 20 years or longer induration or if the marriages lasted five years or longer, when the years of marriage and the age of the support for separate recipient and separation added together total 65 or more.

I will address the ‘with children’ spousal support formulaic calculation in my next blog article.