Ontario Spousal Support Lawyers
Financial Support for Separating or Divorcing Spouses in Toronto and the Surrounding Areas
Section 33 of the Family Law Act (FLA) and Section 15 of the Divorce Act (DA) give the court the authority to order a person to provide support for his or her dependents and determine the amount of spousal support in Ontario, Canada.
Only individuals who are married may apply for spousal support under the DA. Individuals who are both married and common law may apply for spousal support under the FLA.
What is Considered a Spouse?
Even if you are not married, you can be defined as a “spouse” under s. 29 of the FLA for the purposes of spousal support. According to s. 29 of the FLA, spouses include:
- Two persons who are married to each other;
- Two persons who have entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of the person relying on the clause to assert any right;
- Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited continuously for a period of not less than three years; or
- Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the natural or adoptive parents of a child.
Find out whether you will be required to pay or are entitled to receive spousal support. Call (905) 581-7222 today for a free consultation with a spousal support lawyer in Ontario.
How Does the Court Determine Spousal Support in Ontario?
Provided that an individual fits into one of the categories of spouse defined in the FLA, he or she may be eligible for spousal support.
The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the duration and quantity of spousal support, under s.33 (9) of the FLA:
- The dependent’s and respondent’s current assets and means;
- The assets and means the dependent and the respondent are likely to have in the future;
- The dependent’s capacity to contribute to his or her own support; and
- The respondent’s capacity to provide spousal support.
Similar factors are considered under s. 15.2(4) of the DA. These include:
- The means of each spouse;
- The needs and other circumstances of each spouse;
- The length of time the spouses cohabited;
- The functions performed by each spouse during cohabitation; and
- Any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either spouse.
Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
It is common practice to calculate spousal support based on the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG). SSAG is not based on mandatory or legislated guidelines. Basically, the lawyer inputs the parties’ salaries and all relevant information such as duration of the marriage, age of the parties, which individual has custody of the children, and age of the children to arrive at figures indicating how much spousal support should be paid. The Court will look at the calculations and decide what is applicable and fair.
It is in our experience that judges will first apply the law regarding spousal support and use the SSAG to determine that this calculation makes sense. However, judges are not required to follow SSAG and there is room for discretion.
Spousal Misconduct & Spousal Support
In Ontario, the obligation to provide spousal support exists without regard to the conduct of either spouse, but the court may, in determining the amount of support, have regard to a course of conduct that is so unconscionable as to constitute a gross repudiation of the relationship (s. 33(10)) of the FLA. A repudiation of the relationship is a test with a very high threshold; therefore, the conduct of each spouse is generally not considered when determining spousal support. Spousal misconduct is not considered under the DA when making an order or interim order for spousal support (s. 15.2(5)).
Learn more about spousal support and your rights or obligations. Call (905) 581-7222 today for a consultation!
We serve Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Oakville, Markham, and the surrounding areas in Ontario, as well as Aurora, Newmarket, King City, and other surrounding areas in the York Region.
Meet Our Dedicated Team of LawyersOver a Century of Collective Experience
Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.
LawyerJeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.
LawyerLocation: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
LawyerLocation: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
LawyerAnna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
LawyerVeronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.
Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.
LawyerRachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. ...
Associate LawyerQuinn spent two years as a Summer Student and then completed her Articling term at a boutique Family Law firm in Orangeville, ...
Associate LawyerLauren joined Feldstein Family Law Group as a Summer Student in 2020 and returned as an Articling Student in 2021-2022. ...