Spousal Support Obligations in Ontario

Q – What would make a judge grant an order for indefinite spousal support as opposed to a time limited order for spousal support?

A – Indefinite support generally refers to support that continues until the recipient dies. A judge will be more likely to order indefinite spousal support if the marriage was of longer duration (for example, more than twenty years) and if the spouse seeking support (for example, the wife) has fulfilled the traditional role of homemaker. These factors would point to the spouse’s ability to be economically self-supporting to have been permanently impaired by the marriage. An indefinite support order would be recognition of this.


Q – Should my lawyer use the federal spousal support guidelines in my application for spousal support if they are not binding on the court?

A – Yes, it is worth it because many judges do use the guidelines as a reference point and appreciate having this information in front of them. It is also possible that the other party will be using the guidelines in his or her submissions and it will be useful for you to have your own calculations done in order to verify that what is being put before the judge accurately reflects the situation.

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