Is it true that I get 6 months of spousal support for every year of marriage?

This is a great question! We get asked this often by both recipients and payors of spousal support.

There is some truth to this statement but it doesn’t tell the whole story. According to the Family Law Act of BC, Section 4 sub 162, the amount and duration of spousal support must be determined on consideration of the conditions, means, needs and circumstances of both spouses.

The general rule of thumb for support is that once entitlement is established, the recipient will likely receive six months to one year of support for every year of marriage, or until the youngest child graduates high school, whichever is longer. This is an important distinction because, if you have children, your spousal support can continue for much longer than the basic guideline amount.

Duration of support payments will be indefinite where the partners cohabitated for 20 years or longer, or where the age of the recipient at the time of separation plus the number of years of the relationship is greater than or equal to the number 65.

Any guidance provided is not covered by solicitor–client privilege, nor is it taking into consideration all of the facts of your matter beyond those in the question. The legal information is specific to British Columbia Law. If you want a more thorough and case-specific analysis of your legal matter, please contact us to arrange a consultation.

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