In law, when a marriage breaks, the spouse with a higher earning capacity has to support the other spouse. And at the same time, the court does expect than an adult should look at his/her own needs and work towards the best of their ability. There are set laws in the Canada Divorce Act on how to go about spousal support for married couples. But, territories or provinces may have their own set laws that define how spouses in common-law relationships may carry out their marital support procedures. These regulations may also apply to those who may want to separate rather than divorce. A local court in Canada required that both spouses may have lived together for more than a year before deciding to separate, as this is the only time any spouse may qualify for spousal support.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is the money given to one spouse by the other after separation or divorce. The gender of the spouse receiving or paying for the spousal support doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, there must be a contractual obligation, and the party seeking spousal support must demonstrate that there is a compensatory basis for spousal support. In Ontario, you can easily file for spousal support by a written agreement or through the court. Your separation agreement may deal with your spousal support issues alone or can even include any other thing such as child support or custody. Getting spousal support when you apply for divorce in Ontario, may be easier if you have an experienced family lawyer by your side. This way, you will make sure to be on the right legal steps depending on your territory or province. If you want to file for spousal support through the court in Ontario, three courts have powers for that. These are the superior court, the court of justice in Ontario, and the family court. These three courts can award payments either monthly or in lump-sum for the spousal support. Again, if you want to make a spousal application, you have to follow a specific procedure. This is except for an emergency situation. After filing an application, you should bring it to the family court or the court of justice in your province. To make your spousal application, you need to:

  • Fill spousal court forms
  • Make copies of the forms
  • Ensure the forms are submitted to the nearest family court
  • Serve your spouse with the spousal forms. You can use a family member or a friend or, you can use a lawyer to deliver the forms to your spouse

On the other hand, if you’re the one who is paying the spousal support, you need to:

  • Fill up the forms
  • Attach supporting documents. That is the documents that have your income details
  • Serve your spouse

Which Factors Are Considered When Deciding Who Receives Spousal Support?

In deciding who receives or how much spousal support one may get, the court has to consider a number of certain factors. This may include:

  • The length of the relationship
  • The number of children present
  • The age of both spouses at the time of separation or divorce
  • How much the other spouse has requested for support
  • Whether the spouse with more income can afford to pay the requested amount
  • Whether the recipient spouse has the ability for self-support

The best part is that both spouses can agree on the spousal amount by following the Advisory Spousal Support Guidelines. In case the spouses need to go to court, then the same guidelines will be used to determine the amount of spousal support to be paid. However, this is not binding. If you want to secure a spousal support payment from your former spouse, you need to seek legal advice from experienced family lawyers. Conversely, if you feel you that you should no longer pay the spousal support since your spouse is now financially stable, you should also seek legal advice.

Handling such cases alone may not be wise. In such a case, your family lawyer may advocate for spousal support termination on your behalf.

 Hiring A Family Lawyer For Help

Determining which laws and guidelines should apply to your case may be confusing. You need a family lawyer to assist you with this. Any spouse can file a spousal support application without fear of an imposing deadline. It’s only the real need that may push you to file for the support as soon as possible. If you’re not sure of where to start with the mountain of divorce paperwork ahead of you, a little help from a family lawyer will make you emotionally stable. Only be sure to look for seasoned family lawyers; they will be committed to helping you work through the spousal support issues. Besides, you will understand the legal terms and concepts and hence go through the process smoothly.