Alimony for Former Spouse

PSP Legal’s affiliated family law attorneys can answer your questions about spousal support or help you obtain it.


Expertise / Family Alimony for Former Spouse

Whether you’re the one who wants to apply for alimony from your ex-spouse, or the one who receives an application for alimony from your ex-spouse, we’re here to help.

While many questions can be answered with the help of the guides, sample letters and forms in our legal toolkit, an independent jurist affiliated with PSP Legal will always be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have.

Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner take charge of your situation and intervene directly and quickly on your behalf, you can also request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal represent you by clicking here.


Alimony for ex-spouses

What is spousal support?

The law provides that a person may obtain alimony from his or her ex-spouse in order to alleviate the financial imbalance he or she may have suffered as a result of the marriage or civil union.


When is alimony payable?

The obligation to pay alimony can only be applied :

  1. divorce;
  2. legal separation;
  3. dissolution of civil union.

This means that former de facto spouses cannot benefit from this measure, since the Divorce Act is the main source of this obligation. 

Alimony can be awarded in two ways. An amicable agreement can be reached to determine whether alimony will be paid and, if so, how. This agreement can then be sent to the court as a joint application for confirmation. Otherwise, since alimony is not automatic, it will have to be included in the application for divorce or dissolution of civil union.

In the case of an application before the court, the applicant will have to provide proof of his or her financial situation, indicating all income and the gain resulting from the division of the family patrimony. The other spouse, for his or her part, must provide proof of financial means. This evidence must be provided under oath.


What are the criteria for awarding alimony?

Several criteria will be taken into account by the Tribunal during the decision-making process to determine whether alimony should be awarded in favor of the former spouse:

  • The degree of financial autonomy of both spouses;
  • Age, state of health and level of education;
  • Ability to find employment;
  • The length of time the spouses have lived together;
  • The spouses’ standard of living during their life together;
  • agreements between them concerning maintenance;
  • The role assumed by each during their life together;
  • Child support obligations, if any.

The obligation to pay alimony to former spouses has three main objectives: to compensate for the advantages and disadvantages resulting from the marriage or civil union, to remedy the economic difficulties encountered by one of the spouses as a result of separation, and finally to facilitate economic independence within a reasonable time for each of the spouses.

The new spouse’s income may also be taken into account in the decision, as well as in the calculation. The court may evaluate the portion of expenses assumed by the debtor spouse’s new spouse, in order to grant an increase in the alimony payable. Conversely, the court may also take into account the portion of expenses assumed by the creditor spouse’s new spouse, in order to reduce the amount of support payable.

As this list is not exhaustive, many other criteria may be taken into account by the court when making its decision and calculation.


3 ways to pay spousal support

  • Monthly alimony
  • Lump sum paid at time of judgment
  • Payment in the form of both alimony and a lump sum

The latter is designed to avoid excessive periodic payments. It is a discretionary decision for the court.

The pension may be revised at any time if circumstances warrant, but is in fact not final. What’s more, since it is a personal obligation, spousal support is non-transferable.

Finally, spousal support is not tax-deductible. It is therefore tax-deductible for the debtor and taxable for the creditor.


How we can help

How we can help

Our legal toolkit includes a variety of online resources and links to templates and guides to help you better understand your obligations.

However, should the Legal Toolkit prove insufficient in your situation, you can obtain additional assistance by speaking with one of PSP Legal’s affiliated jurists:

Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner handle your situation, you can always request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal intervene on your behalf by clicking here. He or she will then be able to intervene directly and rapidly on your behalf by:

  • Preparing, negotiating and drafting applications, procedures or any other legal documents related to your situation;
  • Assisting and advising you on your legal rights and obligations;
  • Representing you before the courts when legal action is taken;
  • Guiding you through the choices available to you, leading to a fair and satisfactory solution.


PSP Legal, because you deserve expert advice!

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