Support is meant to provide for a person’s reasonable needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care. Lindsay Kenney’s family lawyers help clients achieve deserved benefits as the result of a marriage breakdown.
The payment of child support is mandatory, as parents have a responsibility towards their children to ensure that their needs are met. Children are entitled to child support for as long as they remain children of the marriage (under the age of majority, which is 19 years in BC, or if the child is unable, by reason of illness, disability, or other cause, to withdraw from parental charge). This often includes children who enter post-secondary education. The amount of child support is determined by the Child Support Guidelines, which sets an amount based on the payor’s income, the number of children, and the parenting arrangements in place.
Spousal support is intended to ensure that the lower income spouse has their basic needs met and compensate for any economic disadvantage or financial consequences experienced by that spouse as a consequence of the marriage or the breakdown of the marriage. In contrast to child support, spousal support is discretionary, and entitlement to spousal support depends on the conditions, means, and needs of both spouses. The court will consider the length of time the spouses cohabitated, the functions performed by each spouse during the marriage, and any agreements between the parties relating to support. If a person is entitled to spousal support, the amount of spousal support is usually determined in accordance with the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, although there is discretion to depart from these guidelines.