The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG) are informal guidelines (supported by the federal Department of Justice) developed to assist in the determination of the amount and duration of spousal support under the Divorce Act.
They have not been incorporated into legislation and operate on an advisory basis only. They are not binding and their adoption and use is voluntary.
In BC, once entitlement is established, the guidelines must be considered by a trial judge in calculating support from the perspective of duration and quantum, and any order that falls substantially above or below the suggested range could give rise to an error in law, unless a reasonable explanation is provided for the discrepancy.
An analysis of the legal status of the Guidelines is provided in:
- Yemchuk v. Yemchuk, 2005 BCCA 406, 44 BCLR (4th) 77
- Redpath v. Redpath, 2006 BCCA 338, 33 RFL (6th) 91, 62 BCLR (4th) 233