While the government provides some advisory guidelines for determining an appropriate range of spousal support, these amounts are not set in stone. In fact, before any calculations of spousal support are completed, entitlement to spousal support must first be determined. Whether a spouse is or is not entitled to spousal support depends on a number of factors and is generally determined on the facts of each case. Some of the factors that will determine entitlement to spousal support, as well as the duration of the spousal support obligation, include:
∎ The length of the relationship
∎ The roles played by each spouse throughout the relationship
∎ The age of the spouses at the time of separation
∎ The ability of one spouse to support the other
∎ The ability of the recipient spouse to become self-sufficient
Law Wise Family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of the case law surrounding spousal support Ontario and the appropriate methods for advancing a claim for Spousal support in Ontario.
Change in Circumstances & Spousal Support Obligation
In addition to helping clients secure spousal support payments from their former spouse, we have also helped clients who feel that they should no longer continue paying support. For example, when a former spouse receives a promotion or raise, enters into a new relationship, or has otherwise had an opportunity to become self-sufficient but has failed to do so, spousal support may no longer be justified. In these cases, our lawyers can advocate for the termination of the support obligation on your behalf.
Spousal Support Entitlement
Married and common-law couples are eligible to receive and pay spousal support. Spousal support is allowed for unmarried couples who:
∎ Lived together for a minimum of three years
∎ Should have had some semblance of permanence in their relationship and had a child together
How much time do you have to make a claim for support? The Divorce Act does not place a limitation period on making a claim for spousal support. Therefore, even if you have already separated from your spouse, or obtained a divorce, you may still be eligible to claim spousal support. If you are in this situation and need help advancing your position, please contact us for more information.
Tax Treatment for the Spousal Support Payments
All spousal support payments made according to written agreements or court orders are taxable in hands of the recipient and given for the support of the recipient. They can be claimed as tax-deductible by the payer in certain situations including:
∎ Amount to be paid to the spouse or common-law partner is clearly stated in the order or agreement
∎ All previous and current child support payments are completely paid out.
Priority of Child Support over Spousal Support
As per the Divorce Act, in cases where the child and spousal support have been requested, the judge will prioritize child support. Supporting the children needs to be the primary responsibility of both parents.
As per the court orders and agreements, all support amount not specifically stated to be for the recipient is considered as child support payment.
The child support payments are not included in the recipient’s income and are not tax-deductible.