What you need to know about spousal support and court order alimony payments
Whether you are expecting to receive or pay spousal support, also known as alimony, you should be presented by an experienced divorce lawyer who understands how to negotiate spousal support payments.
Its best if the parties involved can agree on spousal support, but this typical requires the assistance and support of divorce lawyers. If both parties can’t come to an agreement on spousal support, the court will make a decision.
Keep in mind that either spouse can be ordered by the court to pay spousal support to the other. How much is awarded depends on the status of each spouse in terms of income and assets, employment, age and health, education, the standard of living during the marriage. The amount awarded can be paid in a single lump sum or with monthly payments.
If you have been married less than 20 years, the duration of the spousal support will be based partly on the length of the marriage and the financial needs of the spouse. If you have been married more than 20 years, spousal support may last until that person dies or remarries.
Child support is not included in spousal support.
Quick facts about Spousal Support Agreements
No escape – You cannot evade court ordered Spousal Support payments by declaring bankruptcy. You are required by law to make any court ordered payments.
Be reasonable – An experienced divorce lawyer can advise you on what to expect (whether you are receiving or providing support) because they are familiar with the guidelines that have been established for the awarding of Spousal Support in Alberta.
Take into account tax implications – Spousal Support payments are considered income and as such are taxable. For the spouse providing Spousal Support, the payments are a deductible expense.