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Spousal support: Helping Alberta residents leave a bad marriage

Some people view spousal support critically, as if it were something that no one should have to pay and no one should agree to receiving. However, it is vital that we put this matter into context in order to understand the essential role that spousal support plays in our communities.

One of the most important roles that spousal support serves is the elimination of situations where less affluent spouses are trapped in an abusive relationships that they cannot get out of due to their financial dependence on the other spouses. For example, if one spouse is not working, and does not have the means to earn a living, that spouse might get stuck in a dangerous and painful situation -- essentially putting up with a spouse who physically, sexually or emotionally abuses him or her -- because there is no other option available for escape.

Fortunately, life does not have to be like this. Spousal support offers the means for escaping a bad relationship. It does not even matter whose fault the dissolution of the marriage is, and it does not matter whether the spouse with money was abusive or not. If the under-moneyed spouse wants to leave the circumstance, a financial parachute may be available to ensure the person lands safely on independent ground.

In most cases, spousal support is meant to serve as a temporary bridge, so that a newly single individual can pay for the education and training necessary to gain employment and financial independence. If you are living in Alberta, and you feel like you cannot exit your marriage because you do not have a job, you might want to speak with a family law lawyer about your current situation. Through spousal support, you may be able to achieve the independence you are looking for.

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