The federal Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are commonly used to determine the amount and duration of spousal support to be paid. When using the guidelines’ formulas for calculating support, it is important that each party’s reported income is accurate.
The guidelines are designed to generate a range of support amounts for a given situation, so really the guidelines provide a general starting point for deciding the amount to be paid. Two basic formulas are used to calculate spousal support payments in Ontario: the “with child support” formula and the “without child support” formula.
If the spouses have a child together, then the amount of child support should be calculated first. Matters of child support will also be prioritized over spousal support.
The “with child support” formula for calculating spousal support provides that the amount to be paid to the recipient spouse, who usually also receives child support, should leave that spouse with 40 to 46 per cent of both parties’ net incomes following the deduction of child support. Both spouses’ net income following the deduction of child support is called Individual Net Disposable Income, or INDI.
If the spouses have no dependent children, then the “without child support” formula can be used. The formula provides that the “amount of spousal support is 1.5 to 2 per cent of the difference between the spouses’ gross incomes for each year of marriage, to a maximum range of 37.5 to 50 per cent of the gross income difference for marriages of 25 years or more.”
Every situation is different, and the calculation of spousal support can be a complicated matter requiring professional assistance in order to arrive at a fair arrangement. To learn more, please see MatrimonialHome.com’s spousal support overview.