Determining Income for Spousal Support in Ontario in 2024


Determining whether or not one of the spouses is eligible for spousal support is no easy task. Many people think of this as child support, believing only divorced couples deal with this. In reality, spousal support can exist even if the couple is still married. There is no one and the same formula as child support where one of the spouses has to pay a certain amount every month so that the child has everything it needs despite the parents not being together. In these scenarios, there are multiple factors that need to be considered before the judge can rule the final verdict and the final amount to be paid by one side.

Due to the lack of the usual guidelines in legal matters resembling this one, everyone has a hard time determining what is fair to both spouses, both the one who pays and the one who is owed. From the employment status and assets to their names and the income they get, everything is important in order for the settlement to be made. It cannot even be said which case is more difficult to settle, whether among divorced couples or married ones.

If you are interested in these matters and wish to learn more about how determining the income for spousal support works, especially in Ontario, you came to the right place. In the following few sections you can find all the information needed for this complicated settlement.

The Income


Calculating your income is the first thing you need to do when determining the level of spousal and child support to be paid. If you are employed, this will be easy to do because all that is needed is to consider line 150 of your personal income tax return. However, if you are self-employed or employed by a corporation you solely own, determining income will be a much harder task to perform. That is why it is recommended to get a spousal support lawyer to help with this. Whenever there is a legal matter at hand, you can hardly come on top of it without the employment of a lawyer. Only with such a professional at your side can you begin to understand all the implications and find the best course of action for your specific case.



Being self-employed is the dream of many people since you have nobody above you to report to. You are your own boss and you are in charge of everything. When things go good, you are to praise. When they are bad, you can only blame yourself and look for improvements. In terms of spousal support, it is a more difficult situation but in a good way. People who are self-employed can write off various expenses for tax purposes which have a personal component to them. For example, if you use your cell phone to conduct business, you can write off the monthly costs of that cell phone. That same cell phone can be used to make personal calls but nobody will actually care nor check. Self-employed individuals also have the option of writing off meal expenses, even those taken together with family and friends. Meals are a personal benefit and not a legitimate expense for determining your income for support purposes, and since you are your own boss all the time and you do not really have office hours, your every meal is also your worktime meal. Consequently, the parts of such expenses that are of personal nature are usually added to the income of the self-employed person when determining support. Bearing in mind taxes are not usually paid on this income, the income has to be grossed up to account for taxes that are paid on it. While you will have it better than those employed with somebody else, determining your income total will be much more complicated.

Sole Owners


Sole owners will also have their hands full when or if the time comes to determine their income. For persons who are employed by a corporation that they own, the challenge is determining if there is a legitimate reason for earnings to be retained by the corporation or not. A good example is where a corporation has to make significant capital purchases every once in a while. Such a corporation has a viable reason to keep its earnings. This is because the money will be required for buying equipment and other capital to be used in the processes of production or for the services they perform. In contrast, if the corporation retains earnings as tax savings shelter for its shareholder and there are no valid reasons to retain earnings, part or all of the earnings may be added to the income of the shareholders for purposes of determining support obligation.


Determining income for spousal support is usually complicated, and it becomes even more so the more control you have over your employment. Therefore, even though you have succeeded career wise and are now your own boss in one way or the other, calculating your gross income and putting it on paper will be no easy task, especially on your own. You can hardly be familiar with all the regulations and laws at paly so an experienced lawyer knowledgeable in this field is a must. Careful analysis has to be done and every single thing surrounding your income has to be triple checked. That is why it is imperative to enlist the help of a spousal support lawyer. They will determine the incomes of both parties and the range of support that is appropriate and determine whether there is even eligibility for one of you to pay the other. Even if the end result comes easy after not so complicated process of calculation and evaluation that you could have easily carried out yourself, you will be at ease knowing it is actually how things are. After all, not having to worry if one of you was taken advantage of is a great plus.

If you are currently going through the process of determining spousal support and are in desperate need of professional help, look no further than Frenkel Tobin Family Lawyers for some top-tier legal help. Their representatives have a ton of experience in the field and have seen it all, so rest assured they will help.