How Spousal Support / Alimony Works in Ontario Family Law

Spousal support (which is called Alimony in the United States) is often one of the most contentious and difficult issues in separation and divorce. In this video, family lawyer and Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, explains how spousal support works in Ontario Family Law. This video explains:

  1. What spousal support is.
  2. How a person becomes entitled to spousal support – which includes when a common law couple becomes more like a married couple.
  3. What are the objectives/purposes of spousal support.
  4. How spousal support is calculated and how long it lasts. This includes an explanation of the different ways spousal support can be paid including as a lump sum, and periodic payments, which each have very different tax treatments. (Only periodic spousal support is tax deductible). John also explains the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.
  5. What factors make it more likely that a family court judge will order more or higher spousal support.
  6. Whether there are any ways to get out of spousal support. Some ideas that are discussed in this video include marriage contracts and bankruptcy.

Usually, after a separation, one spouse wants to get spousal support as recognition of his or her contribution to the marriage, while the other spouse wants the relationship over – including all the economic ties – and does not want to pay support. Watch this video for tips on the hot issue of spousal support. 

Contact Us

To contact John Schuman, Certified Specialist in Family Law, call 416-446-5847, email him at, or use the form on this page.

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