Like the Federal Child Support Guidelines, the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines uses the gross income for calculations of income. However, a different income than the income shown on the income tax return may be imputed to either the payor spouse or the recipient spouse. The court may impute a different income to a spouse if the spouse is intentionally under-employed or unemployed, other than where the under-employment or unemployment is required by the needs of a child of the marriage or any child under the age of majority or by the reasonable educational or health needs of the spouse.
For spousal support purposes, any social assistance received by the recipient spouse has traditionally not been viewed as income. if a payor spouse is receiving social assistance, the payor spouse is deemed as unable to support himself or herself thus has no ability to pay.
Child Tax Benefit And Other Child Benefits
Simply put, if the payor of the spousal support also pays child support, these amounts identified for various child-related government benefits and refundable credits shall be included in each spouse’s income. These amounts include the Canadian Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement, the GST credit, the refundable medical expense credit, the Child Disability Benefit, and the various provincial benefit and credit schemes. For low-income recipient spouses, the amount they receive can be fairly large, especially when there is more than one child. To remove this amount from the income can cause great hardship for payor spouses, especially for those with lower incomes.
Benefits For Children Other Than Child Of The Marriage
Child-related benefits received by a spouse for children other than “children of the marriage” should not be included in income for spousal support purposes.
There are other types of income or benefit that may require a close look at the specific situation. If you require tailored legal opinion on whether a particular amount you receive is considered as income for spousal support purpose, please contact our experienced family lawyer team @ MEHDI AU LLP, we serve clients across Markham, Toronto and GTA.
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