Spousal support is a complicated area of law.  One reason for this it imposes conflicting duties on people.  For example, the law sets out that any one who is receiving support has a duty to try to be self-supporting, but it also recognizes that roles in the relationship, for example child rearing, can impact on that duty.

The Spousal Support Guidelines should be referred to when considering spousal support; however, unlike the child support guidelines, they are advisory only.  The Spousal Support Guidelines unfortunately involve solve such complicated calculations that, especially when child support is an issue, spousal support cannot be calculated without the use of specialized computer software.