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How Much Spousal Support Am I Eligible for in Ontario?

A couple having an argument, and wondering about spousal support regulations in Ontario

Following the breakup of a marriage or relationship, the party with more income or assets may be required to provide financial support for the other. The amount of spousal support may vary based on a number of factors, but will typically depend on the length of the relationship, age of the parties and their children, as well as, the difference in income between the two parties.

This article will help you to understand some of the guidelines for how spousal support is calculated in Ontario. It is important to remember that these guidelines may not be applicable in every scenario. Acquiring the assistance of a legal professional should always be the important first step you make once it is clear that the decision to divorce has been made.

How Spousal Support is Determined if Children are Involved

The final amount of spousal support provided will be influenced heavily by whether or not any children have been born through the relationship.

If there is a child or children, both parties will go through a process to determine their net income. These amounts are compared against one another in a calculation, after considering taxes, deductions, as well as government credits and support programs, to determine the amount of spousal support. The duration of the support will continue until various criteria are reached, which will often depend on the length of the marriage and/or the age of the children.

If children are not involved, the duration of the spousal support payments ranges based on how long the marriage lasted. Typically, the guideline is that a year of marriage will amount to half a year to a year of spousal support payments. If the marriage was a long one, support payments may continue indefinitely – that is to say, they may continue long into an individual’s retirement. When no children are involved, a calculation is made once again to determine both parties’ financial situations, with the party with a greater income providing support to the party with less – but typically for a shorter period of time.

Can Spousal Payments Be Changed?

If there is what is known as a “material change in circumstances” that affects a payor’s ability to maintain their spousal support payments the payor is able to file documents with the court along with the reason for their claim to have the support adjusted. They will need to acquire strong legal representation to make the best case possible in court.

Contact Epstein and Associates of Newmarket for more information on how spousal payments are determined. Our expert team of lawyers has the experience and expertise to provide valuable assistance.