My wife and I have simply grown apart over the past several years and I think it is time to leave and move on with my life. We have one son who will be 18 in 2 months. He has no intention of going onto post secondary education and will be seeking employment in the work place. Financially we onw a house with a large mortgage and we have a large amount of personal debt as welll. My best guess is if we sell the house we could cover all our debt and have a very small amout leftover. I make about 80,000 per year and she makes about $40,000 per year. I want to make sure that she is treated fairly but I also want to be able to survive as well. We live in Ontario Canada small rule village. 1st question what would be a reasonable amout to pay spousal support and for how long? What finacial obligation will I have for my son once he turns 18 and is not in school?
I have not sat down and told my wife my intentions yet.
The child support issue is the easy answer. If he is not disable in any way, and is not attending school, then at age 18 he is no longer under parental charge and there would be no entitlement to child support for him. But note that courts have said that a child can resume the status of a "child of the marriage", which is a child that is under parental charge and that cannot withdraw from that charge by reason of disability or "other cause", which courts have said will include regular attendance at post-secondary education. So if a child decides within a reasonable time to go to school, and cannot support himself at that time, then the support obligation could be reinstated. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances and why a child did not go immediately into school, and whether they reasonably saved money while working to fund their own education. There are many decisions where courts have allowed a child to return to school after a one year absence. Beyond that year or so, it is somewhat of a question mark and will depend a lot on the circumstances,
Spousal support is harder to say with any certainty what you might be obligated to pay. There are no set guidelines in place, and it remains a discretionary decision for a judge as to what should be paid, and for how long. They will look at the incomes of both parties, expenses, any child support paid/received, future likely income or stability of income, the roles each took during the marriage to try and assess if there has been an economic disadvantage or advantage to either as a result of the marriage or its breakdown, and whether each spouse is financially self sufficient. There is an obligation on each spouse to make reasonable efforts to achieve financial self-sufficiency.
There is no law that says that spouses must have the same net income after a separation, but courts have said that this will be more and more likely the longer that spouses have been married, with it being unfair that one spouse be much better off than the other after a long-term marriage.
Courts have to factor in income tax to a spousal support calculation, as such payments (when made pursuant to a written agreement or order) are tax deductible to the payor, and included in the taxable income of the recipient. So a starting point in a long term marriage would be to look at the amount of support that would more or less equalize the incomes of the spouses, after tax. A court could depart from this for many reasons, such as if one spouse has the brunt of marital debts, or if there is a pending change in income or income earning ability or some unfairness that would result.
There are guidelines that a court will consider, but these are not mandatory, called the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Most courts now will ask that these be prepared, as a true guideline (unlike child support Guidelines, which are created by the Federal government and are legally binding on a court) but are free to ignore the results if they choose. Application of these can be complex, and there are many exceptions to the use, but this can give some guidance on a range of support. You would need to contact a family law lawyer to look at those, as I cannot prepare the calculation without considerable more information from you, and I cannot give an opinion on the application of those or the likely support as this site is for general information only and lawyers are prohibited from giving legal opinions or advice.
with over 15 years experience.