Toronto Divorce Lawyer Advising High-Net-Worth Individuals on Spousal Support
When a couple separates, the higher income partner or spouse is generally obligated to support the lower income partner or spouse. This is known as spousal support (sometimes also called alimony) and is intended to balance the financial impact of the separation and ensure a fair outcome for both parties.
In a separation or divorce, the amount of spousal support that a spouse is obligated to pay, and the amount of support the other spouse will receive often becomes a point of contention and a significant concern. This is particularly the case where one or both spouses own a business, have a high-net-worth, own significant real estate, or otherwise have substantial assets.
Spousal Support in Ontario
Spousal support obligations attach to both common-law and married spouses. Spousal support is not automatic. Former spouses must either agree to a spousal support entitlement or there must be a finding of eligibility.
A court will consider several factors in determining whether a spouse is entitled to spousal support, including:
- The financial means and needs of each spouse;
- The length of the relationship (marriage or common-law relationship);
- The role each spouse took during the relationship;
- The effect of a spouse’s role in the relationship on that spouses’ financial position;
- The effect of the breakdown of the relationship on a spouse’s financial position;
- The care of children (if any); and
- Any agreements, arrangements, or orders previously made about spousal support.
Spousal Support for High-Net-Worth Spouses
Spousal support decisions are made using the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG). These guidelines are not mandatory, but family courts will refer to them when making determinations about support.
The SSAG provide a range of spousal support amounts based on factors such as the length of the relationship, the income levels of each spouse, the age of each spouse, and (if there are children), the number of children and their ages.
Where the income of the spouse paying spousal support (i.e. the payor spouse) is above $350,000, different spousal support considerations apply. Above that number, the SSAG cease, and factors such as the length of the marriage do not apply in the same way. Spousal support can increase above the SSAG, and will depend on a court’s considerations of the factors relevant to that relationship.
How Can Mark Feigenbaum Help
Prior to forming his law firm, Mark worked in the cross-border tax department of an international Big 4 firm, and accounting management positions in a range of sectors in both Canada and the U.S. Mark combines this tax and business knowledge with his experience advising clients on family law matters to provide thorough, multi-disciplinary advice and exceptional risk management.
Mark’s ultimate goal is to help you retain as much financial stability as possible while helping you move forward following the breakdown of a relationship.
Contact A Knowledgeable Toronto Divorce Lawyer for Advice and Guidance on Spousal Support Matters
If you own a business or have a high-net-worth, and are going through a separation or divorce, it is imperative to consult with a family lawyer who understands the specific legal and financial risks that you may face. Contact Mark online or call him at (905) 695-1269 or toll-free at (877) 275-4792 to book a consultation.