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Answers To FAQs About The Rule Of 65 And Ontario Spousal Support Laws


There is no guarantee of spousal support in an Ontario divorce case, which is perhaps why it is one of the most hotly disputed topics that arises during the proceedings. The concept of alimony is based upon balancing the financial disparities between the parties, so that one is not disadvantaged after the case concludes. Canada’s Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines provide useful information on calculating the obligation, based upon such factors as age, standard of living during the marriage, and contributions to the family by the recipient.

However, the guidelines may not be practical for determining spousal support in some cases. Canadian divorce laws also include a provision termed the “Rule of 65,” and it might affect your eligibility to receive alimony – or your obligation to pay it. A Mississauga spousal support lawyer can provide personalized details, but some answers to common questions may be useful. 

What does the Rule of 65 say? The provision uses a basic formula to determine whether a spousal support recipient is entitled to indefinite support. The two key elements are:

  • The duration of the marriage, in years PLUS
  • The age of the support recipient.

If the total of these figures exceeds 65, the duration of alimony will be permanent. There is an exception for particularly short marriages, so the rule does not apply if the couple was married less than five years – no matter the age of the recipient.

How do I request indefinite spousal support? Before the Rule of 65 kicks in, a spouse must first prove entitlement. Relevant factors include:

  • Whether one spouse was unable to pursue a career because he or she was caring for children or helping the other spouse build employment opportunities; and,
  • Whether the payor spouse has the financial means to pay support to the other, who will be disadvantaged after divorce.

Are there spousal support rules for long-term marriages? There is a provision similar to the Rule of 65 that affects marriages of 20 years or more in duration. After proving entitlement, a spouse can seek indefinite spousal support in these cases regardless of age.

What is the point of the Rule of 65? When the recipient’s age and the length of marriage add up to 65 or more, there is a general presumption that becoming self-sufficient is not practical or possible. Re-entering the workforce might require significant training or education, and an older individual may not be physically suited to employment. The same theory is behind the law on marriages of 20+ years, where one spouse gave up opportunities to support the household.

Our Mississauga, ON Spousal Support Lawyer Can Provide Additional Details

These answers to FAQs about the Rule of 65 may help you understand the basics, but in-depth knowledge of the law is crucial for a real-life case. Our team at Zagazeta Garcia Lawyers LLP will support your rights on either side of the alimony issue, so please contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation. Individuals in Mississauga, Brampton and the Peel Region can call 905-232-0398 or go online to speak to an experienced lawyer.



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