The courts have determined there are three theories of spousal support:
- Self-sufficiency – A spouse should be encouraged to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible and cut the ties from the former spouse.
- Compensatory – Where one spouse has surrendered a career in the workplace because of the marriage.
- Needs/Means Based – This creates balance in the standard of living in the separated/divorced couple by redistributing income from the spouse who has greater resources to the spouse with less resources.
Factors that the court considers when ruling on spousal support include:
- Length of the marriage.
- Ages of the parties.
- Standard of living while married.
- Age of the children and amount of support being paid.
- Current income and future ability to generate income.
- Role of each spouse in the marriage.
- Resources of the parties.
- Post-separation financial situation and budgets.