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How to Get Spousal Support in Canada

Commonly known as alimony, spousal support is the money paid to one partner by another after they separate or get a divorce. It is a legal obligation for one to pay the alimony and is applicable for any relationship that is abided by the law. During a divorce, if one partner has a high income, he or she is obligated to pay spousal support to another.

In this article, we are going to share with you the steps to get spousal support. But before we start to share these steps, we need to understand what is the purpose of alimony.

Understanding the purpose of this spousal support

The first thing to know about spousal support is to understand its purpose. There are 3 main purposes of alimony.

  1. Compensation being paid to the spouse who sacrifices his or her ability to earn during the marriage.
  2. To compensate for child care expenses.
  3. To support the non-earning spouse with their financial needs.

Now, let’s come to the steps to getting spousal support.

There are simple steps following which you can get spousal support (alimony) from your partner.

Step 1 – To know the eligibility

The first thing you need to check s to know whether you are eligible for spousal support or not. As per the family law act, there are two scenarios in which you are known to be eligible for spousal support. The first one is – spousal support from a married spouse and the second one is for an unmarried spouse.

As per family law act section 1, a spouse means a person who is married or just entered the marriage. Under section 29 of the family law act, the expanded definition of a “spouse” includes –

  • Married couple
  • Two people who are not married but have cohabitation for a period of at least three years or have a relationship of some permanence say if they have a child.

Step 2 – Proving entitlement to spousal support

There are 3 ways in which you prove your entitlement to spousal support. The first one is compensatory spousal support, non-compensatory spousal support, and contractual spousal support, These are the three types of spousal support available to you.

Compensatory spousal support – This is for the ones who had responsibilities during the relationship like taking care of children or helping their partner excel in their career.

Non-compensatory spousal support – If the separations leave you in need of support and your partner has enough to help you.

Contractual spousal support – If you and your partner are in a cohabitation agreement, marriage contract, or any other contract that mentions that on separation you will have a right to spousal support.

Step 3 – Understanding the concept of spousal support

The courts refer to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAGs) guidelines when it comes to deciding the amount of spousal support. The amount of spousal support and the tenure depends on several factors including –

  1. How long have you lived with your partner?
  2. Are there any children involved who need the care and support?
  3. What is the income of both the partners?
  4. What is the age of both the partners?
  5. What is the mental and physical health of each of the partners?

Bottom Line

In the end, we would like to say that separation procedures are usually very exhausting and tiring and this is why most people prefer to ask for professional help. We at Sabharwal Law Group have the best team of family lawyers who can help you get the right and well-deserved spousal support. If you have any questions, contact us.