The starting point for calculating how much support a payor spouse pays to a recipient spouse when the payor spouse is also paying child support is to figure out each spouse’s individual net disposable income, or INDI. Net disposable income is different from Gross Income (which we used in the “without child support” formula). INDI for the payor spouse is generally calculated by taking the spouse’s regular income and subtracting Child Support and also subtracting taxes and deductions. INDI for the recipient spouse is generally calculated by taking the spouse’s regular income, subtracting notional child support and taxes and deductions, and then adding government benefits and credits.
Once each spouse’s INDI has been calculated, the two amounts are added together to form a pool of net disposable income. The recipient spouse is supposed to receive spousal support that will leave them with between 40 and 46 percent of the pool of net disposable income.
Let’s look at an example of how this works, straight from the SSAG paper itself:
Ted and Alice have separated after 11 years together. Ted works at a local manufacturing plant, earning $80,000 gross per year. Alice has been home with the two children, now aged 8 and 10, who continue to reside with her after separation. After the separation, Alice found work, less than full time, earning $20,000 gross per year. Alice’s mother provides lunch and after-school care for the children, for nothing, when Alice has to work. Ted will pay the table amount for child support, $1,159 per month. Alice’s notional table amount would be $308. There are no s. 7 expenses (if there were, the spousal amounts would be lower).
Under the formula, Ted would pay spousal support in the range of $474 to $1,025 per month.
Now, how long will Ted be required to pay spousal support? Initial orders for support and almost always indefinite, but are subject to review later on which result in the obligation ending in one of two ranges of time (the “upper end of the range” and the “lower end of the range”).
Duration is calculated at the upper end of the range for a period of time equal to the longer of the length or the marriage or the date that the youngest child finishes high school.
Duration is calculated at the lower end of the range for a period of time equal to one-half the length of the marriage or the date that the youngest child starts full-time school.
What should be clear at this point is that support calculations are complex. Computer software is required to obtain accurate calculations. Your family lawyer will have access to this software, but to give you a sense of the range of spousal support you might be entitled to there is a free, simplified version available online: