Sorley & Still
Barristers and Solicitors

15064 Yonge Street
Aurora, ON L4G 1M2
Telephone: 905-726-9956
Facsimile: 905-726-9957

& By Appointment Only
2 - 450 Hume Street
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1W6
Telephone: 705-994-4616

General Inquiry Email:

Family Law - Spousal Support

Unlike child support, spousal support (other than lump sum payments in respect of which there are specific tax rules) which is provided for in a written agreement between the parties or a Court Order, is tax deductible to the paying spouse and, for the purposes of income tax, is considered income to the receiving spouse. 

It is, however, far more difficult to determine the appropriate quantum, and/or duration, of spousal support than child support.  There are no hard or fast rules and, notwithstanding the assistance of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, each case is dictated by its facts with consideration given to such factors as:

  • the length of the marriage or cohabitation, 
  • the roles played by the parties during the marriage (for example, did one party raise children to the detriment of his/her own career), 
  • any economic advantage or disadvantage arising as a result of the marriage,


  • the means of the paying spouse,
  • the needs of the receiving spouse,
  • the lifestyle which the parties are accustomed to, 
  • the ability of a recipient to become self-sufficient,
  • the quantum of child support paid (child support takes precedence over spousal support).

Under the Family Law Act (Ontario), support obligations can arise upon the breakdown of a marriage or , in the case of a common law relationship, where the parties have continuously cohabited for not less than three years or were in a relationship of some permanence if they were the natural or adoptive parents of a child.

Let Sorley & Still Help You: Sorley & Still’s lawyers can help you understand your responsibility for spousal support (as a paying spouse) or your entitlement to spousal support (as a receiving spouse).







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