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Spousal Support...good or bad..

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  • Spousal Support...good or bad..

    I always like a lively debate but I certainly don't want to start a

    I'd like to get peoples opinions on spousal support...and how if at all it impacts on the idea of equal rights for women..on one hand it would seem in some cases such as a stay at home mom in a marriage of 20+ years would seem to be entitled to spousal..after all she stayed home and raised the children sacrificing her right to have a career etc...I think most people would agree that in such a case spousal support is reasonable, for a agreed upon amount of time. So that scenerio aside....

    But also with equal rights for women..isn't being able to stand on your own two feet without having to rely on a man the whole basis? That women are just as capable as men? If so then why this almost automatic response of 'she deserves spousal support'.. Does it not still feed into the idea that a woman needs a man...or how else will she get by?

    And if the situations were reversed - excluding the 20+years stay at home parent scenrio..but if a man went after spousal support..and I know that some do... would the public outcry be deafening.....would women be expected to pay just as men are...

    And one more point to ponder..given that divorce rates are astronimcally high these days it is reasonable to grant spousal support to anyone leaving a marriage less then 10 or so years? Sure nobody plans to get divorced, but the reasonably intelligent beings that humans are ( or can be anyways ), isn't it reasonable to take some personal responsibility and make sure that you have solidified your future for yourself and not rely on someone else....if you spouse died (God forbid) you wouldn't stand there saying 'somebody owes me some money' and the paltry sum the government provides in benefits is surely not enough to live on.

    Now before anyone calls for my Let me say I am female, I am divorced, I did receive spousal support for one year and I was the one who brought it to an end, after many months of missed payments.. I discovered that it is far better to determine my own path than let someone decide when or if they might pay me..and frankly I didn't think he should have to pay. I put myself though college and got a great job in which I will never have to wait on somebody else so I can pay my bills. I don't have a wealthy family, and nothing was handed to me..everything I got I earned wasn't easy but I did it.

    So is spousal support a good thing? What kind of restrictions would you like to see? Is there a time frame for the receiver that they become self sufficient? Or perhaps in lieu of spousal support the payor pays the cost of tuition and books for classes of a skilled trade in which the person can actually gain some marketable skills?

    And remember the words..'friendly debate'...this is not an attack on anyone or meant to be demeaning or to imply anyone should be trying harder...we're just talking here.....

  • #2
    I agree with what you said regarding long-term marriages. Someone at home for 20-30 years raising children and then left with no income, should receive support. But that's my only exception. Otherwise get rid of it.

    Spousal support is an idea from a bygone era. Women have all the ooportunites that men do, most families are duel-income now. CCTB, UCCB, 1 year maternity leaves, and on and no. And lots of help and facilities, not like before.

    But the main reason I do not like spousal support is it becomes a lifestyle award, an entitlement and finally, a means to put pressure on the guy for the kids.

    Lifestyle Award: The leskun case right there should have abolished spousal support. Too depressed over an affair to work? So they give her more support? "Houston... we have a problem"

    Entitlement: Hey, if the courts say I can get it, then I am asking for it (and most likkly receive it). Do I actually need it? No? Well, the carrot and stick are too tempting.

    Extortion: Pay me SS are I will not agree to any demands regarding the kids. appens day-in-day out. Put your kids with SS (and CS, etc).

    Plus, it is sucha loosey goosey law. When does it end? How much? What is it for? And so on. It is simply a social net. Why work when I get hammer the ex for cash..

    SS is disgusting. I know a lot of Women who did not take it. They are the ones that also did not take CS and split the kids 50-50 (even little itty babies...)

    It certainly sends the singal. Hey get you Mrs. not your MBA. What a sad state for girls.


    • #3
      argg... I need a spell check...

      That one line should state: "Buy you kids with SS..."


      • #4
        Oh yes!

        Oh it begins.....the war is agree D.Dad...Long term marriage is the only reason!!! I stayed at home for 13 years and worked only for a few years at the end of my marriage. I never consider asking for SS. I HAVE MADE MY OWN WHY IN LIFE AND AM PROUD OF IT.


        • #5
          I have just recieved another offer to settle from my es. She has asked for Sole Custody, SS, And Child support and a large sum of money for equalization. I can't figuure out why I should pay her spousal support when she is going to have a hugh amount of money given to her.
          I was married 9 years and knew nothing about my wife. Yet now she wants me to support her. I wish I live lon enough to see some changes in the Family Law.
          I recall when child support guidles went up a year ago or so. I thought the would be reduced a bit instead the Harper Goverment increased almost 130 a month for me.

          I'm going broke, she living pretty. Sweet.
          Sorry to take over the tread.. SS should be appolished for any marriage under 10 years. Just my thought


          • #6
            next time I'll use spell check


            • #7

              RE: Ur Ex asking for Sole custody, SS & Equalization.

              Dont' forget OB1 they ask or threaten for the whole nine yards to give
              you a good scare and you then back off and settle for what they wanted in the 1st place. It's a legal game and the cards seem to stake in favour of the female AND they know it.!!!. I went to a Case Conference and I was impressed that some Judges are being to sense the unequalization of the Law.

              My Ex threatened SS if I went after child support. Their argument..SS is for the rest of your life while CS ends at 21 or when education ends. I have all 3 children,,, no support, paid her a healthy equalization, a good chunk of my pension and who laughs all the way to the Bank --> Not me.! When it comes to money, the real underlying personality of some comes to the forefront...



              • #8
                I agree with everyone else on the long term marriage 20+ years, stay at home parent. Spousal makes sense.

                In shorter term marriages, I think it's reasonable for a stay at home parent to receive time-limited support to get their life in order - find a job, rearrange finances to the new reality - whatever. I would say 6 months to a year.

                If there are no children involved - get a job, support yourself. Harsh perhaps but no one over the age of 18 should be dependent on someone else for their survival.


                • #9
                  Spousal support

                  Hi everyone,

                  I do agree with the SS for the long term marriages .Even in short term marriages If the woman never worked SS should be there for atleast 2-3years so that she can be on her own feet with some good job rather than working megar jobs .
                  May be I am partial on this but its my own situation.three years of marriage and two very young kids( 3 and 15 months at the time of separation) ,was a home maker as never worked in North America.All my parents saving he already took as a gift( 30,000 Usd).Now if I work may be I will earn 1500/month so i asked for ss and cs.He used to make 70,000 but now quit from her Job.I have started taking a course and by the time it finishes,My younger one will turn 4 too.That how I planed and felt that was fair enough


                  • #10
                    I don't think there is a question that in long term marriages it would be reasonable for spousal support to be paid.

                    But I'm wondering would having an automatic shared custody possibly reduce the prevelance of spousal support orders...that if both parents were equally responsible for care of the children..drop offs and pick ups from school both parents an equal playing field to pursue jobs without some of the limitations and time constraints being the CP sometimes has..and of course I know many of you already practise this or wish you could but are not given the oppurtunitiy. I know in my situation for all intents and purposes I'm a single parent..except every other weekend..I do all the school activites, chauferring to after school activities etc..

                    I think all to often kids are used as leverage..' I can't work or take some classes because I need to stay home with the kids etc..' I'm not saying its easy..its not.. but if thats the I mentioned earlier if your spouse had passed away what would you do..and why not do it now..why assume that you 'should' be able to rely on anyone but yourself to see you through..perhaps that is harsh but I think a lot of people would be far happier if they realized the only person responsible for your happiness and success is yourself. Why relinquish control to another person who most definitly does not have your best interest at heart.

                    I feel society on whole is lacking a whole lot of personal responsibility..but is that something you can really legislate? Would mandatory pre-nups help in any way..I think marriage is the only contract in the wolrd you sign without addressing the posibility of not meeting your obligation and the consequences that you may incur as such.


                    • #11
                      A senario: What if a woman, working..paying bills, taking care of EVERYTHING in a relationship...and help putting the guy through school for a very high paying job for the benefit of the FAMILY. In that marriage the woman is making sacrifices so that her family will one day benefit from her husbands high paying job. So this woman is working..dropping kid off here, going there..picking kid up..doing all housework..etc. The husband is only going for his dream. He gets it, then leaves. The wife has done everything while the guy gets his high paying job..which she helped buy him...and he leaves her with the kid and he goes off and has a nice single life. What is child support anyways..doesn't help a single mom much. But to a guy making tons of money per year and just dumps his family..sure he'd pay the little he has doesn't compare to what kind of lifestyle he's going to have. This happened to me after a 4 year marriage. Left us with NOTHING and I didn't get spousal support. The judge said it wasn't a long enough marriage. He even ended up taking my car that I paid 10, 000 into. How am i supposed to support myself and my son? He didn't care. I hope if there is anybody that went through what I went through that they fight in hell for spousal support!!


                      • #12
                        Basically you can get SS for income disperity, compensation, entitlement, and just about anything inbetween (dog died, cat ran away, because it's Tuesday). More so with kids.

                        Here are some basic assumptions (from the Justice site):

                        Disparity in income alone, regardless of type and length of marriage, is usually sufficient to trigger an entitlement to spousal support.

                        Spousal support law was already moving in this direction after Moge, but Bracklow has confirmed the trend. Quinn J. of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recognized the disappearance of entitlement as a serious issue in the following statement from his judgment in Keller v. Black:

                        [para. 22] It seems that Bracklow has taken us to the point where any significant reduction in the standard of living of a spouse resulting from the marriage breakdown will warrant a support order—with the quantum and/or duration of the support being used to tweak the order so as to achieve justice in each case.[13]

                        I am wondering what facts made the judge not give you spousal support.

                        How am i supposed to support myself and my son?



                        • #13
                          how was I supposed to get work when we lived 25 km from the nearest town? was I to hitchhike with my child? I didn't have any neighbours that weren't very elderly. I did end up getting out of that situation though..and after 2 years have found myself in a very good place in life. I was not represented when we went to court that time and since I didn't know anything about the law, forms, etc, so the judge dismissed me as I didn't have any affidavits or case conference brief. It does happen that the court doesn't always side with the mother and child.


                          • #14
                            Your path from A to B may not be easy.. but sounds like you did it.

                            Family Law and the Divorce Act only deal with 6 things:

                            1) Divorce
                            2) Custody
                            3) Access
                            4) Equalization/Division of Assests
                            5) Child Support
                            6) Spousal Support

                            From what I understand, based on your previous e-mails:

                            - you got a divorce
                            - you got sole-custody
                            - you got 100% access (or close to that)
                            - the property was divided
                            - you received child support
                            - no spousal support

                            So you got 4 out of 5... even though you were, as you stated above, poorly prepared and lacking the knowledge of court process. Wow. I can't imagine getting joint custody and 50-50 access that I won in court without representation and no idea of court processes and the law. So, good for you.

                            Now, without knowing the details of your trial, there must have been a (very) good reason for no #5.

                            Family Law does not:

                            - make people good parents or involved parents
                            - make people be responsible for themselves*

                            *although the System makes it easy for people not to be...


                            • #15
                              I'm not saying its easy..or that it is even fair when those kinds of situations happen. But I've been on both sides of the fence so to speak and I just can't get my head wrapped around the idea of one adult supporting another adult. We all make choices in life, rarely if ever there is a gun to anyones head. Yes we all hope for the best but it just doesn't make any sense not to plan for the worst too.

                              I think I would be hard pressed to find a successful relationship where one person relied solely on the other..and I'm not talking about our parents or grandparents generation...that kind of society is is nearly impossible to live on a single income unless you are incredibly fortunate to have a high paying job and a low cost of living...

                              In my present situation common law hubbys ex is coming after him for spousal support...after 8+ years..and the kicker is because they are not officially divorced as of yet the Divorce Act still applies and there is a very good possibility that she will get some spousal support. And why..her standard of living hasn't changed since they seperated, yet she feels she is *entitled* to it because he went and got himself a good paying job which he worked incredibly hard for..and they are looking at my income now as well and I sure as hell didn't marry her. Its pretty simple, he can afford to so she thinks that he should. Doesn't matter one bit to her or the court for that matter that his success came after the marriage ended. It is a simple you have more than me and thats not fair. In fact she has even said that on more than one occasion..and during the case conference when the subject of SS came up she actually said to the judge ' can I tell you what I want the money for?'.

                              What I feel is totally unfair is that even though you go through the hoops to seperate yourself from a person they can still keep coming back for more and more with no end in sight. And I wholeheartedly believe that were the situations reversed and it was a man looking for spousal it wouldn't happen..not like it does in the present family law system.


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