Who is Entitled to Spousal Support (sometimes referred to in the past as alimony)?

Many people have basic assumptions about what spousal support is and who is entitled to it.  Water cooler talk further confuses the issue because advice is given among co-workers, friends and others and more often than not, the advice is inaccurate.  It is not inaccurate because people are ill intentioned, it is often inaccurate because spousal support is specific to each individual situation.

To SiMPlify the issue a little, here a few things a judge might look at when considering to award spousal support:

  • Whether you have children;
  • The age of the children;
  • The ability of the asking spouse to support themselves;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The incomes of the spouses;
  • The roles of the spouses during the marriage (i.e. stay at home spouse versus two working spouses)

It is also important to note that there is not one set amount of spousal support awarded.  Spousal support has formulas that explore small, medium and high end ranges of what a judge can award a spouse, if anything at all.

The duration of how long to pay spousal support is very specific also.  So avoid the well intentioned advice of your co-workers, friends, and loved ones who likely do not have the answers you need.  Try to steer clear of assumptions or conclusions.  If you are wondering about spousal support – whether you have to pay it or whether you are entitled to it – you might consider contacting a lawyer to ensure you get the accurate advice.

Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email info@smplaw.ca if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.


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Our office remains open remotely and is available to assist you by videoconference, phone, and email. Since the Covid-19 closures, SMP Law has assisted our clients with four urgent court matters and continues to have court attendances on motions that the courts have deemed urgent.

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