Spousal Support & Increase of Income

Family Law

In a recent case, Ford v Ford, 2016 BCSC 2152, before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, two important issues were assessed for our client.

1. Review of Spousal Support

The two parties, married in 2003 were separated in 2009 with a spousal support order made in 2011. The parties attended Mediation in 2013. They agreed on one additional year of spousal support with a review in 2014. The payor simply stopped paying in 2014, but did not seek a review.

The review of spousal support is incumbent upon the payor to seek. He had an obligation to continue payments or seek a review of the spousal support. He did not. The result, the Court ordered spousal support arrears and on-going support for an additional two years.

2. Post-Separation Increase in Income

During the marriage, the payor earned approximately $65,000 annually. He was working his way to management with the company where he was employed. In 2015, he earned approximately $104,000.

The question the Court was asked to decide was whether the recipient of support was entitled to higher spousal support based on the post-separation increase in income.

The Court ultimately decided, after arguments were presented and jurisprudence on this issue, that the payor’s seniority had been built during the marriage and the Court ordered spousal support based on the payor’s higher income (which was $40,000 higher than it was during the marriage).

This means that, in certain situations, if a payor is working towards a higher paying vocation/position during the marriage, builds seniority in that field, and ultimately obtains that employment – the recipient can request support based on the post-separation increase in income.

Of course, each case depends on the facts. Call us to discuss your facts and if we can assist you.

Family Law
Lindsay Kenney LLP