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Hello, my name is Daphna Schwartz as I am a family lawyer at Feldstein Family Law Group. Today, I will be speaking to you about the how the length of a marriage or cohabitation can impact the duration that a payor will be obligated to pay spousal support.

The duration of a payor’s spousal support obligation can depend on a variety of factors, which include the age of the recipient at the date of separation and the number of children and their age at the date of separation.

However, arguably one of the most significant considerations is the length of the marriage or cohabitation period. There is a positive correlation between the length of the couple’s cohabitation period or marriage, and the duration of the payor’s spousal support obligation.

The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines set out two rules that help to determine when an order of spousal support for an indefinite period of time may be appropriate. One rule states that the recipient has a stronger claim to indefinite spousal support if the parties have lived together for twenty years or more. The second rule is more interesting. It states that if you add the length of the marriage or cohabitation period to the recipient’s age, and it equals 65 or higher, then the recipient has a stronger claim for indefinite support.

In short, the duration of the marriage or cohabitation period is clearly deemed relevant by a court for determining if spousal support should be indefinite.

Your lawyer will input all the necessary information pertaining your situation and will review with you calculations for the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. This will show a range of the quantum of spousal support payable and the duration, which will either be a range for a fixed period or an indefinite period.

If you would like to learn more about separation and divorce or other family law issues, you can visit our website at If you would like to know more about your own situation please call us at 905-581-7222 for an initial consultation.

Thank you for watching.