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When does spousal support end? How do I end it?

When does spousal support end? How do I end it?
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Reviewed: 
November 30, 2017
Answer

How long spousal support is paid depends on the facts of your situation. Here are some general rules:

  • Spousal support always ends when the support recipient dies.
  • Spousal support does not always end when the support payor dies. Spousal support may continue after the support payor's death if there is life insurance or assets (like an RRSP) from which spousal support can still be paid. But the Family Responsibility Office will not enforce support orders against the estate of the support payor.
  • Spousal support does not automatically end when the support recipient lives with or marries someone else.
  • Spousal support does not automatically end when the support payor retires.

You or your partner can try to change or end spousal support. The court will do this only if there has been a material change in circumstances. This means you have to show that your situation has changed so much that your order needs to be changed to deal with those changes.

Time-limited and indefinite support

Some spousal support is time-limited. This means there is an end date in either your separation agreement or court order.

For example, it might say that spousal support ends when the support recipient remarries or when the support payor retires.

If there is no end date in your separation agreement or court order, spousal support is called indefinite. This means it ends when you and your partner agree that it should end. If you can't agree, you have to go to court and ask the judge to decide.

Some spousal support agreements or orders have a review date. This means there is a date to look at your situation to decide if the amount of spousal support should change or end.

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