Adult Interdependent Partner Support in Alberta: An Overview

Adult Interdependent Partner Support in Alberta: An Overview

An Adult Interdependent Partnership exists between two people who live together and either:

  • have both signed an agreement stating that they are entering an Adult Interdependent Partnership
  • have lived together in a relationship of interdependence for at least three years, or
  • live together in a relationship of interdependence and have a child together (either by birth or adoption).

When one or both parties to an Adult Interdependent Partnership decide to end the relationship, one party may be required to continue supporting the other partner financially.

When does an Adult Interdependent Partnership end?

An Adult Interdependent Partnership can be ended by:

  • written agreement between the parties
  • living separate and apart for one year
  • getting married (either to each other, or if one partner marries someone else)
  • entering an Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement with someone else (this is only possible if you have not already signed an agreement with your current partner)
  • obtaining a declaration of irreconcilability from the court.

Partner support is not automatically imposed at the end of every partnership. Determining whether you are entitled to receive support, or responsible for paying support, can be a complex legal exercise. Our Edmonton family lawyers can provide you with an overview of adult interdependent partner support in Alberta and make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

What is an appropriate amount of adult interdependent partner support?

A court making an order for spousal or partner support under Alberta's Family Law Act will consider:

  • the length of the partnership
  • the roles performed by each partner during their partnership
  • any order, agreement or arrangement relating to the support of either partner
  • if either partner has a legal obligation to support another person (either a spouse, partner or child)
  • if either partner lives with someone else, the amount that person contributes to their household expenses.

The courts often use a set of formulas known as the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) to help them determine the appropriate amount of partner support in a given set of circumstances. Unlike the Child Support Guidelines, the SSAG are not mandatory and they provide a suggested appropriate range in which support should fall, rather than a precise amount.

How do I obtain Adult Interdependent Partner support?

Support can be obtained if:

  • you and your partner signed a cohabitation agreement at some point before or during your partnership that made arrangements for one partner to support the other at the end of the relationship
  • you and your partner agree at the end of the relationship that one partner will support the other
  • you apply for and obtain a court order.

What if things change?

Some partner support orders are payable for a set term, but often the court does not include an end date when they make a support order. That does not mean that support is payable forever. If circumstances change, the court will make a new order either cancelling the support order or amending the amount of support as necessary. Common changes of circumstance that prompt a variation order include: retirement; loss of employment or obtaining a new job that pays better; and remarriage or obtaining a new Adult Interdependent Partner.

Book a Consultation With Our Edmonton Family Lawyers

Determining your rights and responsibilities with respect to Adult Interdependent Partner support is an involved process. This overview of Adult Interdependent Partner support in Alberta merely brushes the surface. Contact our Edmonton family lawyers for more detailed information pertaining to your situation. Book a consultation today.

*Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is not intended to act as legal advice. For specific legal advice please consult with a family lawyer.

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