Spousal support calculation error in British Columbia case

Spousal support calculation error in British Columbia case

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jun, 15, 2022 | Family Law

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently heard a case regarding a claim that spousal support was miscalculated in prior rulings. The appeal claimed that the calculation had been based on shared parenting when in fact one parent was given primary custody. The payor parent asked for the calculation to be reconsidered given the circumstances. Despite initial rejection of his application, he was successful in doing so. 

The original calculation was put in place by a judge in Jan. 2021. During this matter, the wife was given spousal support of $1,750. The wife was also given primary parenting. The husband argued that the calculation was incorrect when child support was taken into consideration, and filed an application for reconsideration, which was rejected. 

The husband then went to the B.C. Court of Appeal, which was the next option following the failed application. Here, the appeal was reconsidered and the amount was reduced to $720, effective Feb. 1, 2021. The appellate court, however, maintained that the spousal support should remain sizeable due to the following factors: 

  • The length of the marriage, which was quite long at 20 years; 
  • The primary role in parenting played by the wife; 
  • The wife’s financial need; 
  • The fact that the husband far out-earned the wife. 

For her part, the wife filed a cross-appeal related to the division of family property in light of the change. This was also granted, and the husband had to pay $47,690, minus the extra already paid in spousal support. The appellate court also ruled that it was unjust for the trial judge to order costs against the husband when the husband applied to correct the amount, as the man was in the right to do so. Complex matters such as this demonstrate the importance of working with an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer when dealing with a divorce. 

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