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Spousal Support in Ontario

If you are going through a divorce or separation in Ottawa, it is important to learn more about spousal support and how it works. Many parties seek spousal support after a separation from a spouse or after a divorce. There are multiple purposes for spousal support in Ontario, including to provide financial support to a spouse so that they can become self-sufficient financially following the divorce or separation, or to provide compensation to a spouse who became financially disadvantaged during the marriage or relationship in order to perform domestic labor like caring for children at home. If you have questions about spousal support in Ontario, you should seek advice from an Ottawa spousal support lawyer. In the meantime, the following are some commonly asked questions and answers concerning spousal support.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario, is quite simply “money paid by one spouse to the other after they separate or divorce.” 

Who is Eligible for Spousal Support in Ottawa?

In order to be eligible for spousal support in Ottawa or elsewhere in Ontario, one of the following must have been true, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General:

  • You were married;
  • You lived together as a couple for three years or longer; or
  • You were in a relationship for any length of time and you share a child from the relationship.

Once a person meets those requirements, one of the following must also be true:

  • Your responsibilities during the marriage or relationship limited you from establishing yourself professionally or having a career because you were assisting your partner as they built their career or you were caring for children;
  • You are in need to financial support as a result of the separation or divorce, and your partner has the financial ability to pay support; or
  • You have a legal agreement with your partner that indicates you will receive support in the event of a separation or divorce.

When Does Spousal Support End?

Spousal support orders or agreements will often have a date for review, at which point spousal support may end, or the amount may change.

How Much Spousal Support Can I Get?

The amount of a spousal support award will depend upon the particular circumstances of the individuals involved. A judge will consider various factors such as the differences in the parties’ incomes, whether there are children from the relationship (and whether the party seeking support has been caring for the children), the ages of the parties, the parties’ roles in the relationship, the mental and physical health of both parties, and the ability of the party seeking support to support themselves.

Who Pays Spousal Support in a Divorce?

If spousal support is ordered in a case, then it will be paid by the spouse who is the higher earner to the spouse who is the lower earner.

Contact Our Ottawa Spousal Support Lawyers

When you have questions about spousal support in connection to your separation or divorce, it is important to seek advice from a spousal support lawyer in Ottawa. Whether you are planning to seek spousal support or you have concerns about paying spousal support, our firm can assist you. Contact RPB Family Law to learn more about our divorce and spousal support services in Ontario.