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When Does Spousal Support End in Ontario?


Whether you’re paying or receiving alimony in Ontario, you might be wondering when it will end. Those paying spousal support may be eagerly counting down the days till they can stop sending their exes money, while receiving spouses may be concerned about the financial impact of losing this support. The end date of spousal support depends on a number of circumstances – including that may change over time. For this reason, it makes sense to discuss your unique situation alongside a lawyer. That being said, here is a basic rundown of when spousal support may end in Ontario:

How Does Spousal Support Work in Ontario?

 Also known simply as “alimony,” spousal support serves as a financial safety net for spouses who became dependent on their exes during marriages. These spouses may need time to re-certify and re-enter the workforce, especially if they spent the marriage acting as “stay-at-home parents” or homemakers.

It’s also worth noting that spousal support falls under federal jurisdiction, and it is outlined under the Divorce Act. Under this act, judges may consider various factors when determining spousal support:

  • Incomes
  • Length of marriage
  • Existing agreements

Judges may also consider additional factors on a case-by-case basis, such as the exact circumstances of the divorce, the roles each spouse played in the marriage, and any child-related responsibilities.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Ontario? 

Spousal support may last for many decades or just a few years. In certain cases, spousal support may be permanent – especially if the marriage lasted more than 20 years. Shorter marriages are typically associated with shorter spousal support durations. In very short marriages, spousal support may not be ordered at all by courts in Ontario.

Spousal Support Can End if Circumstances Change

 Whether you have been ordered to pay spousal support for just a few years or the rest of your life, you can petition to end this arrangement if circumstances change over time. There are several potential examples of these changes that may alter or end spousal support:

  • The paying spouse loses the ability to earn an income
  • The receiving spouse experiences a notable increase in wealth
  • The receiving spouse starts living with a new partner or remarries

It is also worth mentioning that the Supreme Court of Canada recently rejected the notion that spousal support should end when the paying spouse retires. Unlike many other jurisdictions, there is no guarantee that Canadian courts will consider retirement to be an acceptable change in circumstance to justify the reduction or elimination of spousal support.

Where Can I Find a Divorce Lawyer in Ontario? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Mississauga divorce lawyer, look no further than Zagazeta Garcia, LLP. We know that spousal support can be quite confusing in Ontario, and we’re here to guide you through this process with confidence and efficiency. If you’re wondering when your spousal support will end, the date may be approaching faster than you realize. Book your consultation today to discuss this subject in greater detail.




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