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Spousal Support Guidelines and High Income Earners

If you are a high-income earner and separating, you at some point would have thought about how much amount of spousal amount you will have to pay your spouse.


 Canadian courts treat each case individually, based on its specific facts. Luckily, there are certain guidelines in the SSAGs (Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines) which (If not technically) provides a formula for the Canadian courts to set up the initial amounts once your spouse’s settlement has confirmed.


The SSAGs apply to high income as well as average income earners. Technically, they are designed to assist the courts, lawyers, and even the clients as to how much reasonable spousal support is to be paid depending on the circumstances.


Let’s consider you are earning $250,000 per year, the court has the right to make you pay extra, usually above the formula value. Courts consider the parties’ assets, income, and budget plus the needs of your spouse. The SSAGs can only suggest to the court about the amount, the court still considers other factors like:


  • Will the support money enable your ex-spouse to keep up their standard of living like they are used to;
  • If there is any additional income to your existing high income, should that be considered too;
  • Is the spousal support quantum sought an inappropriate amount to disburse, as your capital is being used to pay disguised in the form of support.


Bottom line: if you are a high-income earner, the spousal support you receive will entirely be decided by the court on several factors. Obtaining legal advice is vital. Spousal support can continue for years and can have a great effect on the payor/recipient’s bottom line.

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