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Spousal Support In Ontario

In many marriages, one spouse sacrifices a career and devotes their life to the family so the other spouse could develop a career and support the family financially. When a couple goes through a divorce, the partner who sacrificed their career might be afraid of how they will support themselves while the career efforts of the higher earning spouse needs to be recognized.

Spousal support in Ontario, also called alimony, is a complicated area of family law. Most of the time, spousal support is a from of financial support that is paid when there is a large difference between the spouses’ incomes when they divorce to help with living expenses.

Couple holding ripped heart
couple having an argument

Unlike child support payments in Ontario, there are no legal rules regulating how spousal support is calculated. In Ontario, the courts use Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines to determine the amount of alimony that should be paid and for how long. However, as the name suggests these are guidelines, which allows a lot of room for negotiation.


The spousal support attorneys at Nussbaum Family Law use these guidelines to help our clients to make decisions and set up the best spousal support agreements out of court. Whether you are the spouse in need of spousal support or the one who will likely be ordered to pay alimony, one of our family law lawyers will fight for you and ensure that you obtain a successful result.

Factors in determining spousal support in Ontario

The divorce lawyers at Nussbaum Family Law have extensive experience in spousal support matters in Ontario and we know how to best approach your situation and protect your legal rights. When determining spousal support agreements, a variety of factors will be considered, including:

  • The financial situation of both parties
  • Length of the marriage.
  • Roles of each spouse during their marriage.
  • The age and earning capacity of the spouses.
  • The standard of living established during the relationship.
  • The number of children.


In Ontario, if one partner is paying child support, the courts will look at how a requirement to pay spousal support would affect child support payments.

family torn apart
2 wedding rings

How long does a person have to pay spousal support in Ontario?

The goal of alimony is to encourage the spouse who receives spousal support to be financially self-sufficient in a reasonable period-of-time. While in some cases, payment of spousal support may be on-going, in other cases it could be for a limited time. As circumstances change, such as income changes and remarriages, the amount of alimony an ex-spouse will receive changes. A Toronto divorce lawyer at Nussbaum Family Law will look at your situation and assist you in obtaining the best financial outcome.

If you have question or concerns about spousal support in Ontario, contact Nussbaum Family Law to book a free consultation with one of our divorce lawyers in Toronto.

We are happy to answer all your questions.