Does Spousal Support Ever End? By Cristen Gleeson

The BC Court of Appeal emphasizes that the parties must have contemplated income increase at the time of the settlement.

On February 14, 2020 in the decision in Jennens v. Jennens 2020 BCCA 59, the BC Court of Appeal upheld the chambers judge’s decision to vary spousal support because the payor’s income had increased. The Court found there had to be evidence that the parties had contemplated the potential for future increased income, at the time of agreeing to the consent order. The parties had intended this to be a final deal, but unfortunately for the self-employed payor the Court upheld the variation of support on a retroactive and ongoing basis and even permitted future spousal support reviews. It is critical when drafting family law agreements and consent orders to ensure there is evidence of contemplation of future income increases, particularly when dealing with a self-employed payor of spousal support.