Understanding Spousal Support

When spouses separate and divorce, one spouse may be entitled to receive spousal support from the other spouse. Spousal support is sometimes referred to as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance” payments. Understanding the various circumstances which may support entitlement to spousal support, determining how much spousal support should be paid, and deciding how long spousal support should last requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. The Department of Justice has a fact sheet to answer some commonly asked questions about spousal support.

The Canada Revenue Agency will consider qualifying spousal support payments to be taxable to the spousal support recipient and deductible by the person paying spousal support.  These tax consequences can significantly impact the net cost and value of spousal support. The Government of Canada provides information, forms and publications about support payments.

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