When is high-range spousal support awarded? Part 1/2

High-range spousal support is an increased amount of spousal support versus the mid-range or low-range amount.

High-range spousal support is not routinely ordered; however, an award of high-range of spousal support may be appropriate and reasonable in certain circumstances.

Generally, a recipient spouse will have to prove that there is a good reason why they should be awarded high-range spousal support. Chapter 9 of the SSAG lists the following non-exhaustive factors that determine location within the ranges provided:

1. strength of any compensatory claim;

2. recipient’s needs;

3. age, number, needs and standard of living of children (if any);

4. needs and ability to pay of payor;

5. work incentives for payor;

6. property division and debts; and,

7. self-sufficiency incentives.

Factor 1/7: Strength of any compensatory claim

Spousal support may be compensatory (meant to compensate the recipient for some economic detriment suffered) or non-compensatory (involving claims based on need) in nature.

A strong compensatory claim indicates that both amount and duration (length of time spousal support should be paid) should be at the higher end of the range.

Factor 2/7: Recipient’s needs

If the recipient has reduced income and/or earning potential because of age or other factors, the award of spousal support may be higher in amount and duration. In Bastarache v. Bastarache, 2012 NBQB 75 there was a disparity in living standards between the parties. The wife also had significant needs which resulted in an award between the mid and the high-range.

A discussion of the remaining factors (i.e. 3-7) that affect the amount of spousal support are continued in our next blog post.

Should you wish to discuss any of these factors with a lawyer at Krol & Krol, telephone our offices at 905.707.3370 to book a consultation.