My Husband Left me, How Do I Claim Spousal and Child Support?

Dealing with a separation or divorce can be complicated and challenging, particularly when children are involved. If you are wondering how to claim spousal and child support, it is important to remember that every situation is different, and legal procedures can vary depending on your location.
These guidelines establish support ranges determined by the duration of the marriage or common-law partnership, considering cohabitation periods for married couples as well. In Ontario, two primary formulas are utilized for spousal support calculation: one for cases without child support and another for cases involving child support.
The spousal support, a.k.a alimony, is financial support to the other party when they separate or divorce. The purpose of it is to maintain a similar quality of life for both parties when a marriage dissolves. Similarly, child support also acts as a financial support for the other party whoever has the custody (now decision making responsibility and parenting time) of the child/children. The amount of support the party will receive depends on the income of each party and/or by the approval of the judge if the parties do not agree. You can check our other blogs regarding case conferences if you wish to learn more.


How do I know if I am qualified for spousal support?

The initial step involves determining your eligibility for spousal support based on legal grounds. Are you formally married, or are you considered ‘common law’? Additionally, the duration and permanence of the relationship are essential factors to consider. Let’s explore further: Legally Married: If your situation involves a divorce, you have the legal right to claim spousal support as long as you are officially married, according to the Federal Divorce Act.  

Common Law: If you’re not legally married (or legally married but opting not to pursue divorce), the Ontario Family Law Act permits you to seek spousal support under certain conditions:

  • In cases where your marriage was legally invalid, but you entered the relationship in good faith, believing it to be a marital one.
  • If you have cohabited continuously for a minimum of three years.
  • If you have lived together in a relationship of significant permanence and both share parental responsibilities for a child, as outlined in section 4 of the Ontario Children’s Law Reform Act.
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What if my estranged spouse or partner refuses to get a job?

Imagine if the estranged spouse or partner who receives spousal support does not try to find a job or support themselves without a good reason. In that situation, the person paying the support can go to court and ask to change or stop the payments. They might say the person getting support is not trying hard enough to find work. However, it is not just that simple. The court considers various factors before deciding whether to change or stop the payments. For instance, the court would consider any problems they have finding a job, and if they have any health issues that make it hard for them to work.

What are the factors to consider in determining Spousal Support?


There is a guideline in determining the appropriate spousal support by the judge. In addition to the guideline, the judge examine each other’s background and situation to determine the spousal support and it is as the following:

  1. Each party’s financial means and necessities
  2. Length of marriage or common law relationship
  3. Each party’s health and age
  4. Potential income
  5. Each other’s role during the marriage or common law relationship

What is the role of the Family Responsibility Office (FRO)?


With the Family Responsibility Office’s assistance, you can receive spousal and child support on behalf of both you and your children. This office assists in the enforcement of payments for spousal and child support. The FRO is responsible for obtaining payments from the payor and forwarding them to the recipient.
It’s important to remember that every case is unique and it’s essential to seek legal advice from a family lawyer who can help guide you through the process of your legal proceedings. With their guidance, you can ease all your worries and ensure that your children and you receive the support that you are entitled to.
We at AJ Law can assist you with any questions about spousal support and child support concerns. We have an experienced Ontario family lawyer that will assist you in the process and advocate for fairness and justice on your behalf. If you need any assistance you can contact us via phone at 416-409-5991 or email us at info@ajlawpartners.ca.


Child custody and the amount for an eligible dependant – Canada.ca

What are my rights if I get separated or divorced? (settlement.org)