SPOUSAL SUPPORT IS MORE COMPLEX THAN CHILD SUPPORT
In the case of Colley v. Colley, 2013 ONSC 5666 (CanLII), the Honourable Justice J.W. Quinn discusses some arguments and issues often overlooked in modern trials
- During a motion to change a support order, any change in the support amount should reflect the current situation of the parties in the motion. It is not designed to remediate a bad result contained in an original order or to informally provide the support recipient with support arrears;
- Spousal support is both compensatory and needs-based.
- It is compensatory in that it reflects the financial sacrifice of a party during the marriage. The current lifestyle of the support recipient is irrelevant.
- Needs-based support examines whether the support recipient currently needs the money. The current lifestyle of the support recipient is very relevant.
- If a party claims to be a needs-based spousal support recipient, then the income of that party’s new spouse is relevant and should be disclosed;
- There may not be an automatic obligation of the support payor to provide the support recipient with ongoing financial disclosure. Today, statute requires the support payor to provide the support recipient proof of his or her income every year. In the past, however, the payor either did not have an obligation to provide proof of income or that obligation was triggered only by a written request of the support recipient. One should examine the disclosure provisions in the Family Law Rules and/or the Child Support Advisory Guidelines as they existed at the time of the Order (assuming that those regulations existed at the time of the order)