Considerations when deciding quantum and duration of spousal support

In Meidell v Meidell at issue was the quantum and duration of spousal support that the husband must pay to the wife.  The parties were married for eleven years. The husband has two children from a previous marriage and the children live with him half of the time.  He does not pay any child support for them but will have to contribute to their post secondary education when the time comes. The wife is 46 and the husband is 44. 

The parties agree that the husband’s income for spousal support purposes is $82,000.00.  The husband has always earned more than the wife, however the wife has always been steadily employed or in school.  She is now currently unemployed due to health problems.  The court imputed her income at $26,000.00. One of the objectives of a support order is to “relieve any economic hardship of the spouses from the breakdown of the marriage”. 

Keeping this in mind, the court ordered that husband shall pay the wife $2,000.00 for the first month and $1,500.00 for the second month to help the wife meet basic living expenses and take into account that the husband has not paid spousal support since separation.  From then on, the husband will pay the middle range of support of $493.00 a month for a period of eight years.

Meidell v. Meidell, 2013 ONSC 4414 (Hambly J.).