According to TMZ, Ron White and his wife, Margo Rey, are headed for divorce. A major point of contention between the two is the date of marriage. Rey lists the date of separation as May 8, 2017, and claims that they have been in a common law relationship since 2008. This date is four years prior to when they formally tied the knot. TMZ reports that in Texas, a couple can be considered legally married if they live together and hold themselves out as husband and wife, hence why Rey is alleging that 2008 is the commencement of their marriage. Rey is seeking spousal support, which raises speculation that she is alleging the earlier date of marriage to increase the amount of spousal support that she is entitled to under Texas law.
In Ontario, spousal support may be calculated in numerous ways. Judges may award an amount for a period of time that, based on all of the circumstances of the case, they feel is appropriate. Judges may also use the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, which provide two formulas. To calculate how long a spouse must pay spousal support, these formulas require the date that the couple married or began living together, with judges typically selecting the earlier of the two dates. Therefore, in Ontario time spent in a common law relationship prior to marriage will also be considered in the calculation of spousal support.
Furthermore, in White and Rey's case, since they do not have any children, the support duration would range from one-half to one year of support for each year of marriage or cohabitation. If Rey is able to establish 2008 as the year they got married, this means that White would have to pay spousal support for 4.5 to 9 years in Ontario. If Rey is unable to do so and the date of marriage is established as 2013, then White would likely have to pay spousal support for 2 to 4 years. Clearly, Rey wants to fall within the first range so that she can receive spousal support for a longer period of time.
Spousal support calculations are complex. Lawyers use advanced software to calculate spousal support obligations that reflect both present and future need. Visit our website for more information or request a free initial consultation with one of our family lawyers.