When determining income for support (including spousal support) purposes the starting point is s. 16 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
A spouse’s income is first examined by way of his or her line 150 income, which is then adjusted in accordance with Schedule III of the FCSG.
Section 17 of the FCSG provides discretion to the court to consider the spouse’s income over the last three years to determine any pattern, fluctuation or non-recurring amount of income.
Pursuant to s. 18(1)(a) of the FCSG, the court can also consider the pre-tax income of a corporation where the spouse is a shareholder, director or officer of that corporation.
Given the summary nature of interim support applications, the use of the FCSG wherever possible is appropriate, and income should be determined on the basis of amounts actually earned wherever possible.
Section 19 allows the court to impute income to a spouse if appropriate, including where income has been diverted, where a spouse unreasonably deducts expenses from income, or a spouse is intentionally underemployed.