Spousal Support & Alimony

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Top 5 Spousal Support Tips from Russell Alexander

Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Wednesday’s Video Clip: Top 5 Spousal Support Tips from Russell Alexander

1. What is spousal support?

Spousal support is money paid from one spouse to another to help them meet their needs, pay their bills, and help with their living conditions.

2. What is the legal basis for spousal support?

If you’re common law, and you’ve been together for 3+ years then you’re considered a spouse as defined by the Family Law Act. If you’re married, then your rights and obligations would be defined by the Divorce Act.

3. What facts do lawyers and Courts consider when determining and ordering spousal support?

• Age

• Income

• Length of relationship

• Budgets

• Need and ability to pay

4. Does behaviour affect spousal support?

Generally speaking, behaviour does not affect entitlement to spousal support. The support will likely continue regardless of conduct.

5. What if there is a change?

The Court will revisit the issue of support, or form a new support agreement or court order. Sometimes lawyers use the language, “material change” in spousal support. This would include:

• changes in income

• retirement

• new disability

• loss of income source

On the spousal support recipient’s side, a change could occur if:

• they re-marry

• they gain employment

• their income reaches that of their spouse


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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.