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Spousal Support Series: Part 3 – Calculating Spousal Support

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAGs) are a templated formula, with accompanying guidelines and instructions, that were developed by two law professors in an attempt to standardize spousal support calculations based on objective criteria.

The SSAGs provide significant guidance in determining the appropriate quantum and duration of spousal support. It is important to note that SSAGs are guidelines only.

While the courts in Ontario have decided that the SSAGs must be considered when calculating spousal support, they do not have to be strictly followed in all cases. The specific circumstances of each case will determine how appropriate the SSAG calculations may be. In certain circumstances, they may not be applicable at all. And there are some general provisions, such as when one the payor spouse’s income is greater than $350,000 per year, where the SSAGs actually say that the calculations they produce should not presumptively apply.

Because the calculation of spousal support is so fact specific, you should speak with a family law lawyer to determine what calculation of spousal support is most applicable to you.

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