Spousal Support

The law views spousal relationships as financial partnerships. When the partnership breaks down, the person with more income or assets may have to pay support to the other. At the same time, the law expects adults to look after their own needs to the best of their abilities.

To decide on how much spousal support and the length of time that it should be paid, the law says that judges must consider a number of factors, including how much the person asking for support needs to meet his or her needs, and how much the other person can afford to pay. A person may claim support to help him or her become financially self-sufficient or to keep from ending up in serious financial difficulty.

Advisory Spousal Support Guidelines are available to help parties discuss the appropriate amount of spousal support to be paid. If the parties proceed to court, the court may consider these guidelines in determining how much spousal support should be paid, but they are not binding.

Note: Spousal Support Guidelines are different from Child Support Guidelines, which the court is required to follow.

For more information about the spousal support laws in Ontario, see the publication: Separation and Divorce: Spousal Support

Support amounts

Click here for more information on the Spousal Support Guidelines.

Click here for mysupportcalculator.ca, an external program that can help you calculate your monthly child and spousal support payments.

How to change support amounts

If you want to change the support provisions in a final order or agreement (such as a separation agreement or paternity agreement), the documents that you need to file with the court depend on whether you and the other party agree on what the change will be. 

If you want to change support terms in an agreement, you must first file the agreement with either the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice in your municipality, along with an affidavit for filing domestic contract or paternity agreement (Form 26B). 

To change a final order other than or in addition to an order for child support with the agreement of both parties, you will need to complete and file with the court:

  • a change information form (Form 15A)
  • a consent motion to change (Form 15C) signed by each party, and the assignee if any
  • a financial statement (Form 13)
  • a motion (Form 14B)
  • 5 copies of the draft order that you are requesting the judge to sign (Form 25)
  • stamped envelopes addressed to each party, including the assignee if any
  • a support deduction order information form and a draft support deduction order

Once these documents are filed with the court, a judge will review the documents and either sign the draft orders or direct the parties to provide more information or appear in court to discuss the situation further. 

If you are asking for a change in support and the other party has not agreed, you will need to complete and file with the court:

  • a motion to change (Form 15)
  • a change information form (Form 15A)
  • a financial statement (Form 13)

The responding party should also be served with:

  • a blank response to motion to change (Form 15B)
  • a blank consent motion to change (Form 15C)

For further information see rule 15 of the Family Law Rules

All forms can be found at www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca

Support Enforcement

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) website
Contains information regarding enforcement support in Ontario. The FRO ensures that support payments are collected, and helps individuals meet their support obligations. Also provides information on what to do when one of the parties does not live in Ontario and child support is being requested or changed

Related Sites

Steps to Justice
Community Legal Education Ontario’s Steps to Justice is a website that gives reliable, step-by-step information about common legal problems, including spousal support issues.