4. Check the guidelines for exceptions

The (SSAGs) list some exceptions. These are situations where the guidelines may not apply or where the court may order a different amount of support than what the guidelines say.

Examples where the court may order your partner to pay less:

  • Your partner makes less than $20,000 and paying would push them into poverty.
  • Your partner is responsible for other family debt. For example, they are paying the mortgage until the property can be divided.
  • Your partner is responsible for paying other large family until it can be divided.
  • Your partner is paying for children from another relationship. Or, they are paying spousal support to another former partner.
  • Your partner doesn’t have or of your young child from your short relationship, but plays a significant role in raising your child. Your partner would not be able to meet the demands of parenting if they also had to pay spousal support.
  • Your partner cannot deduct spousal support from their income for tax purposes because they receive disability payments, workers’ compensation, or income from an overseas job.

Examples where the court may order your partner to pay more:

  • You have an illness or disability.
  • You are caring for your child, who has special needs.
  • Your marriage was short and you had no children, but you did not continue with your career to help your partner build theirs.
  • Child support takes priority over spousal support. This means if your partner doesn’t make enough money to pay both, they must pay child support first. If your partner is paying less spousal support than the guidelines call for, they may have to pay it for longer.
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