Recent Decision on Spousal Support

A gavel representing a decision on spousal support


The highest court in British Columbia, the Court of Appeal, recently ruled on the issues of calculating a self-employed person’s Guideline income for spousal and child support purposes under Section 18 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines in the decision in McKenzie v. McKenzie 2014 BCCA 381.  In McKenzie the Court also looked at the issue of spousal support where the wife was already earning a significant income although not as large as the income of the husband who ran his own company.

With respect to the income of the self-employed husband, the court looked at various debt repayments by the company and found that debt payments made by the company necessary to “sustain the company” should apply to decrease the husband’s Guideline income for support purposes.

With respect to spousal support, the husband tried to argue the wife was not entitled to spousal support as she already earned a very healthy income in her current job. The Court nevertheless found the wife was entitled to spousal support because she would not enjoy the same lifestyle post-separation as she had within the marriage and she thereby suffered a loss.