The Family Law Act and the Divorce Act give the court the authority to order someone to provide support for his or her dependents and determine the monetary amount of support. Married individuals may apply for spousal support under the Divorce Act. Individuals who are common law or married may apply for spousal support under the Family Law Act.
What is a spouse? This is a question that is asked often. Under s. 29 of the Family Law Act, spouses include:
- Two persons who are married to each other;
- Two persons who have entered into a marriage that is voidable or void, in good faith on the part of the person relying on the clause to assert any right;
- Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited continuously for a period of not less than three years; or
- Two persons who are not married to each other and have cohabited in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the natural or adoptive parents of a child.
There are several factors taken into consideration by the courts when determining the duration and quantify of spousal support. There are Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, however, they are not based on mandatory or legislated guidelines. The Court will look at these calculations but they are not required to follow them.
To learn more about spousal support specific to your case, please call us at (905) 690-2929.