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In this case, the wife sought an Order for on-going interim spousal support, retroactive spousal support, and security of support.

The issue in this case is the quantum of the interim support and the determination of income for both parties.


The parties married in November 2004 and separated in August 2019. There are no children of the marriage.

There is a significant income disparity between the parties in this case. During the marriage, the husband worked as a Chief Operating Officer at and typically earned well over $200,000 and up to $300,000 a year while the wife earned less than $60,000 working part time as a Registered Massage Therapist.

After the parties’ separation, the husband was laid off from his employer and received a severance package of $220,000 payable over time. The husband was then hired by Amazon in a senior management position. His base salary at Amazon is $215,000 plus a signing bonus of $150,000 in the first year and an opportunity to earn a bonus in the second year. He also received 100 shares in Amazon, some of which vested on August 15, 2021.

The wife argues that she is entitled to on-going spousal support based on the husband’s post-separation income in 2020. She submits that his income in 2020 was $546,325 and her entitlement to spousal support is both needs based and compensatory.

In her affidavit evidence, the wife claims that she took on a disproportionate share of the domestic responsibilities during the marriage, including caring for two dogs as if they were children. Her evidence is that the Husband worked from 6:30 am to 9:00 pm most days, that he travelled a lot for work, sometimes as much as three times a month, and that she had to “make adjustments” for his busy schedule.

In response, the husband denies the wife’s version of their marriage and takes the position that his income in 2020 was an anomaly.


The factors to be considered under s. 15.2(4) of the Divorce Act include a consideration of the means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse, including (a) the length of cohabitation, (b) the functions performed by each spouse during cohabitation; and (c) any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse.

In this case, there is no dispute that the Wife has a needs-based entitlement to spousal support. The parties were married for almost 15 years. They made career, financial, and lifestyle decisions together during the marriage. There is a significant income disparity between the parties. The Wife was financially dependent on the Husband during the marriage. She cannot, without his financial support, maintain a lifestyle that the parties enjoyed when the marriage ended. She requires support on an interim basis to become self-sufficient.

However, a spouse is not automatically entitled to increased spousal support when a payer’s income increases after separation (Thompson v Thompson, 2013 ONSC 5500, at para. 103). Whether a spouse is entitled to share in the increase of the payor’s income depends on the basis of their original entitlement to spousal support and the reasons for the increase in the income.

In this case, the judge was not satisfied that there was a sufficient nexus between the wife’s role in the marriage and the husband’s success in his career. The parties had no children, and caring for two dogs cannot be equated with raising children. The domestic responsibilities the wife took on does not justify her claim to share in the post-separation income increase in the husband’s income.

The judge was also not satisfied that the husband’s income for 2020 should be used for the calculation of on-going interim support as it was an anomaly and not representative of his income during the marriage.