September 10, 2020
As a divorce and family lawyer, I work in the area of spousal support review, typically one party thought spousal support would end after a fixed term. This is not always the case.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Mayer in Adsett v. Adsett 2020 BCSC 1189 in consideration of a separation agreement which provided for review of spousal support at the earlier of 6 months after return to work or 2 years after date of the separation agreement commented,
“ Although the Separation Agreement contemplates that Ms. Adsett may not be able to return to work full-time it does not expressly provide that spousal support is to continue indefinitely if she is unable to do so.”
After considering the objectives of spousal support and reviewing the parties’ positions The Honourable Mr. Justice Mayer stated,
“ I consider that the objectives of compensatory and non-compensatory (needs based) spousal support are applicable in this case. The parties’ relationship lasted a significant period of time – approximately twelve years. Ms. Adsett was the primary caregiver for the children after they were born and was unable to work, other than on a part-time basis, until 2013. This would have benefited Mr. Adsett who was able to continue to advance his career as a firefighter. After the parties separated in 2015, there was a period of time during which Ms. Adsett was unable to work as a result of physical and mental health issues and was only able to return to work on a part-time .65 FTE basis in January 2018. These factors justify the on-going payment of spousal support on a compensatory and non-compensatory basis.
 For the foregoing reasons, I find that Ms. Adsett continues to be entitled to spousal support for an indefinite basis.”
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