“Cases that deal with very high incomes test the outer limits of our thinking about spousal support,” said the trial judge in the 2016 case of Halliwell v Halliwell after a two and a half week trial.
The Halliwells had separated after more than 20 years of marriage. After the birth of their two children, the wife took on the traditional role of household management and child care. The husband owned a business. The trial judge determined that his income for support purposes, averaged $1,000,000 a year during the three years prior to trial.
In Canada, the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (“SSAG”, as they are commonly known) were introduced in 2008, in an effort to establish more consistency in spousal support awards across the country. The SSAG have no mandatory application, but are intended to provide guidance in determining ranges for the amount of spousal support payable, and the duration of those payments. Of course, there are many exceptions to the strict application of the SSAG, including if the payor’s income is over $350,000.
This article was originally published in the National Post. To read the full article, please click here.