If you were previously married and thinking about marrying you may be wondering Does spousal support end if you remarry in Ontario?
Entitlement to spousal support and its payment obligations is one of the most commonly litigated issues in family law. There are many factors to consider including the type of support required, payment schedule, and whether child support is included. It can be a long and arduous journey to resolution. Reaching an agreement that works for all parties comes with a huge sigh of relief and the opportunity to move forward for all those involved.
But what happens down the road when circumstances change? Particularly when one party enters into a new relationship. In Ontario, what happens to spousal support if you or your ex remarries? You may be surprised by the answer.
Does spousal support end if you remarry? The short answer is not necessarily. Under current law, the remarriage or re-partnering of the spousal support recipient does not automatically terminate the existing spousal support agreement.
There is no one-size-fits-all set of rules in place to terminate spousal support obligations in Ontario and you should contact an experienced family lawyer to understand the implications for your situation.
When A Spouse Dies
The only circumstances under which a spousal support agreement is automatically terminated are either the death of the recipient or when the spousal support order or the instructions included in the separation agreement are time-limited, meaning that support ends on a specific date.
Remarriage or Re-Partnering
In the case of remarriage or re-partnering, whether or not the spousal support is terminated will depend on the nature of the support, meaning whether it is needs-based or compensatory.
Types of Spousal Support in Ontario
There are two types of spousal support in Ontario: compensatory and non-compensatory. Compensatory spousal support is awarded when the recipient partner has made financial and/or professional sacrifices during the marriage. Upon remarriage or re-partnering, compensatory spousal support is unlikely to be terminated and the financial obligation in place will continue.
Non-compensatory spousal support, on the other hand, is needs-based support. When the recipient partner remarries, that need may no longer be present and thus the termination of spousal support may be appropriate. The termination of the agreement however is not automatic upon remarriage and will need to be assessed by the court.
If you are currently paying or receiving spousal support and you or your ex are planning to remarry, your lawyer will be able to guide you through any associated reviews of, or amendments to, your original spousal support agreement.
The family law lawyers at Epstein & Associates are well-versed in family law and can help you understand your obligations/entitlements related to spousal support. Contact our office to schedule a FREE initial 30-minute consultation to discuss the details of your case.