1. Agree on the terms of spousal support

What should we do if we agree on spousal support?
This question has an answer and 5 steps

1. Agree on the terms of spousal support

You and your partner can try to agree on spousal support without going to court. You can talk to your partner on your own, with the help of someone you both trust, or with the help of a lawyer or mediator.

Your separation agreement can deal with spousal support alone, or can include other things like:

You don't have to wait until you and your partner agree on everything before making a separation agreement. For example, you might agree on spousal support before you agree on how to divide property. So you can make a separation agreement about spousal support first.

Your spousal support agreement can include:

  • the length of time you and your partner lived together
  • your age and your partner's age
  • your income and your partner's income
  • the amount of monthly spousal support payments
  • the date when spousal support will be paid, including a start date
  • how you came up with the amount of spousal support
  • the reason for entitlement to spousal support
  • how spousal support payments will be made, for example, cash with a receipt, cheque, direct deposit, money order, interac e-transfer, or through the Family Responsibility Office
  • how you plan to deal with spousal support if there are changes in your situation such as changes in income or employment

Also try to agree on a way to get updated information about each other’s income each year. You can agree to exchange copies of your most recent income tax return or notice of assessment every year.

If your agreement also deals with child support, make sure that you have a separate amount for child support and spousal support payments. This is because they are treated differently when doing your income tax return.

Talking to your partner may not be the best option where there is a history of partner abuse.

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Law Society of Ontario (LSO)
Reviewed: March 1, 2021

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