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Q & A

In Ontario, spousal support is not an automatic right. Your spouse may be entitled to support if they can demonstrate the following:

  • The financial needs of both spouses
  • The length of the marriage
  • The roles of each spouse during their marriage
  • The effect of those roles and the breakdown of the marriage on both spouses current financial positions
  • The care of the children
  • The goal of encouraging a spouse who receives support to be self-sufficient in a reasonable period of time
  •  Any orders or arrangements already made about spousal support

Section 7 expenses are separate and apart from regular child support, and are shared in proportion to each party’s income. Child care, uninsured medical and dental expenses and other health related expenses, post-secondary education, private schools and extracurricular activities are all examples of such expenses.

In Ontario, you are considered to be common law if you and your spouse have cohabited for 3 years or if you and your partner live in a relationship of permanence and have a child together.

Spousal support: If your relationship meets the definition of “Common Law”, you may be entitled to spousal support or be obligated to pay spousal support to your former partner.

Child Support: Child support is the right to the child and whether the parties have been married or are in common law relationship, every parent has a legal duty to support their children.


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