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Family law: Understanding issues around spousal support

Spousal support can be one of the most contentious issues when it comes to a couple separating or divorcing. British Columbia family law helps residents to figure out support payment amounts, who should be paying whom, when support should be paid and other issues associated with spousal support such as time limits to apply. The province has spousal support advisory guidelines to help residents figure out payment amounts and outlines the issues that could affect those payments.

A couple can agree to payments without involving family court. These payments should be outlined in either a formal separation agreement or in a divorce settlement. The agreements, however, should be filed with the court. Getting independent legal advice when coming to a support amount agreement may be the fairest way for both parties involved. 

Both parties have to be financially transparent when it comes to support payments. Each should know what the other makes, lawyers should know and courts should know as well. The law stipulates those who aren't honest about their financial situations could face negative consequences. 

A lawyer experienced in dealing with family law in British Columbia can help a client to understand the issues associated with spousal support. Those can range from the aforementioned issues to how long support will last, enforcing an order or an agreement or what needs to be done to change an agreement. A lawyer may also be able to foot questions regarding how spousal support might affect a client's tax situation, whether the client is the payer or the payee.  

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