5 Realities of Spousal Support

October 2017
  1. While the process of determining the amount and duration of spousal support is a discretionary process, it is guided by the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.
  2. Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are not law, but Courts pay a great deal of attention to them. Any Court Order in which these Guidelines are not referenced could justify an appeal.
  3. Spousal support is determined through a comprehensive review of many elements including variables such as the duration of the couple’s relationship, their ages, the number of children (if any) from the relationship, did either spouse exit the workforce for the sake of the family, does an income disparity exist, are there health concerns in either party.
  4. Although spousal support is often stated to be indefinite, it can be subject to review and change, either to increase, decrease or end the payments, if material changes justify it.
  5. If either party is self-employed that individual will have various compensation options. Simply reviewing their personal income tax returns is not considered sufficient for a comprehensive analysis


Iain is head of the family law department, and practises in the area of family law and estate litigation. With close to two decades of experience as a practising lawyer, Iain has extensive experience, including at the Ontario Court of Appeal, in mitigating relationship breakdowns. While he has extensive and considerable success in court, many of his cases are resolved without resorting to court or extensive legal involvement. More →