Common Law Spousal Support

Posted in Location, Ontario, Renfrew, Separation by Questions on June 19, 2013

I am just wondering how long after a common law separation do i have to arrange spousal support and/or child care? I was with my spouse for 20 years and we are separating. We can figure out the house division pretty easy but the other items above are holding up the process of writing out a separation agreement. I live in Ontario is it possible to do up a agreement that states the child support and spousal support willl be addressed in the near future? Thanks.

1 Expert Comment

  1. On June 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    A Family Lawyer said:

    In relation to arranging spousal support:

    A. did the two of you cohabit continuously for not less than three years?

    B. are you parents of a child?

    If no to both questions then you are not legally obligated to arrange spousal support. If yes to one of those questions then it is in your best interests to consult with legal representation and determine whether to pursue the issue of spousal support.

    There is some case law relating to effective and formal notice as to when your spousal support obligations commence, however that law should not be relied on as saving you from liability.

    As to child care, I believe you mean child support. A parent, whether step-parent or biological, has child support obligations based on his or her gross income and pursuant to the Tables in the Child Support Guidelines, and those obligations arise on separation. It is best not to fall behind in child support payments because otherwise you will be owing arrears.

    Instead of looking at it as dealing with child support in the future, perhaps there are financial arrangements in lieu of child support payments to be made that are in the child(ren)’s best interests. Otherwise, you should speak with legal representation to ensure you understand the possible arrears which could accumulate. The Child Support Guidelines must be followed.

    Similarly, with spousal support perhaps there are financial arrangements to be made in lieu of spousal payments at the present time and until you address it in the future. Otherwise, if you are silent on spousal support then you run the risk of having an obligation for retroactive payments. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are advisory only.

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