Sherman Law LLP




Spousal Support


Married couples and common-law couples who have cohabitated for three of more years, or common law couples who have had a child together may have spousal support rights and obligations on separation and/or death. Sometimes people refer to spousal support by its former terminology, “alimony”. Spousal support is an amount of money that one spouse pays to the other, often for a defined period. Usually, the spouse with the higher income makes payments to the spouse with lower income. The amount of money that a spouse pays, and for how long support has to be paid, depends on the circumstances of the relationship.


Money, calculations, pen and bills






The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.


Not every couple who is separating will have a spouse who is required to pay spousal support. Entitlement to spousal support may arise either from a marriage or from a common-law relationship. It is a discretionary and determined in consultation with the Department of Justice’s Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, which provide guidelines and recommendations for support. While these guidelines attempt to bring some stability and predictability to the area, they are full of exceptions and exclusions.


The spouse seeking spousal support must prove that they are entitled to receive support on either a compensatory basis, non-compensatory basis, and/or contractual basis. Factors such as child support, the length of the relationship, earning potential, and income levels are all considered by the court to determine the range and duration of spousal support. Spousal support can also be payable in lump sum rather than in periodic payments. Our team of highly skilled Kitchener family law lawyers can help you determine how to calculate whether you are required to pay spousal support to your spouse, or alternatively, if you are entitled to receive spousal support from your spouse.


While the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines can provide a tool to assist you with spousal support calculations, spouses must consider many factors when negotiating an amount of support that includes:

  • Ability to become self-sufficient

  • Age

  • Anticipated changes in circumstances, such as remarriage, loss of income and employment, and retirement

  • Assets

  • Income

  • Standards of living


These factors not only help to define the value of support, but they can also assist in determining if a spouse is actually entitled to receive support.





Do you want to learn more about spousal support?


For over 40 years, clients have trusted in our ability to explain their rights and obligations in a separation or a divorce. We are confident that you will appreciate our professional and personalized service. We invite you to browse our website and read the positive things others have to say about us. To benefit from our knowledge and experience with respect to spousal support as part of your separation or divorce, please contact 519-884-0034 or send us an email. Many of our clients are referred to us by former and current clients, as well as by lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors. We serve clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas.




Connect with a lawyer in our firm with expertise in this area

Aubrey J.  Sherman


Aubrey J.  Sherman