Wednesday’s Video Clip: Top 5 questions about spousal support in Ontario, Canada
In this video Russell reviews some of the more common questions about spousal support in Ontario, including:
1) What is spousal support?
Spousal support — which is sometimes called “alimony” — is money paid from one spouse to the other after the dissolution of the relationship. The obligation to pay spousal support is a legal one, and may arise either from a marriage, or from a common-law relationship.
2) What is the legal basis for obtaining spousal support?
The obligation for one spouse to pay spousal support to the other does not arise automatically from the fact that the parties had a relationship together (whether formally married or common law). Rather, the spouse who is claiming spousal support must prove an entitlement to it.
3) What factors dictate the duration and amount of spousal support?
The determination of how much support a spouse should receive, and for how long, is a complex equation.
In some cases one spouse may have suffered a financial loss or disadvantage as result of joint career and lifestyle decisions made during the marriage or relationship (for example the decision to move the family so that a spouse can take a new job, or that the mother will give up her career to stay home and raise the children). A disadvantaged spouse will be entitled to support to compensate him or her for that setback.
4) How does the spouse’s behaviour affect spousal support entitlement?
Generally speaking, the entitlement to spousal support is not dependent on the spouse’s pre- or post-separation behaviour, morality, or ethical conduct. In other words, a spouse who is otherwise entitled to spousal support after the dissolution of a marriage will not become disentitled because he or she was violent, or because it is later discovered that he or she had an extra-marital affair during the marriage.
5) What happens if there is a change in circumstances?
As indicated above, the notion of one spouse receiving spousal support from the other is rooted in several concepts and principles.
The amount or duration of spousal support may have to be adjusted if there is significant change in the financial circumstances of either party. This change must be significant, and must not have been foreseen when the separation agreement or the court-ordered spousal support award was made.
We hope you have found this video helpful. If you require further information about spousal support please give us a call or visit our website at www.russellalexander.com