We are open in our 8 offices to serve your needs

The obligation to pay spousal support is not always one that is easily accepted by the paying party. In fact, we’ve covered many situations in our blog where the paying party has tried to escape this obligation through means such as early retirement or underemployment. As a result, even if someone is legitimately expecting to retire, they still have to apply for a variation in spousal support if they wish to alter their payment amounts. The process of doing this was explained In a recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.  

The separation

The parties separated in 1991 after being married for over 21 years. By 2019 they had been divorced for about 26 years, and the husband had been paying spousal support as ordered. When they separated the parties were each 43 years-old, but by now were 72. The wife retired in 2015 while the husband was planning to retire at the end of 2019. As a result, the husband was seeking to end his spousal support obligations. However, the wife was seeking an order to increase the spousal support payable by the husband. The latest order regarding spousal support saw the husband paying 33.3% of all income as well as 33.3% of any tax benefits from his early retirement from his previous career (we was still working a variety of different jobs after retirement).

Factors to consider for a variation of spousal support

Section 17(7) of the Divorce Act outlines what factors should be considered when a variation of spousal support is requested. They are:

  • any economic advantages or disadvantages to the former spouse arising from the marriage or its breakdown;
  • any financial consequences to be apportioned between the former spouses arising from the care of any child of the marriage over and above any obligation for the support of such child;
  • any economic hardship of the former spouses arising from the breakdown of the marriage; and
  • insofar as practicable, the promotion of the economic self-sufficiency of each former spouse within a reasonable period of time.

The court noted that while there is not automatic time limit for spousal support payments, it is not intended to be paid forever unless explicitly provided for in an order or agreement. The court also considered that the wife had received the matrimonial home, now valued at over $1 million in exchange for her interest in the husband’s pension. The court noted she has an obligation to use this asset to produce income. While the wife said she would have no way to maintain the costs of the home without continued support, the court found there to be noting preventing her from selling or drawing from her equity in the home to provide for herself.

As a result, the court ordered the termination of spousal support effective December 2, 2020.

At Gelman & Associates, our experienced, knowledgeable, family law lawyers provide clients with the information they require to make educated decisions about spousal support. If necessary, we will also aggressively litigate on your behalf in order to ensure the best possible outcome of your case. In addition to the extensive web-based resources available to our clients, all prospective clients are given a comprehensive family law kit during their initial consultation, with ample information and resources to help individuals understand and navigate the separation and divorce process.

Serving six offices throughout Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough, our offices are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. In order to be accessible to clients and prospective clients, our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (844) 769-0737 or 1-844-769-0737 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

Contact Form - Contact Us Page

Request a free consultation

Please fill out this form with your contact information and someone will be in touch with you soon.

Contact Preferences

How would you like to be contacted? Click all that apply.

How can we help you?

Brief description of your legal issue:

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm is not secure and does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.



4211 Yonge Street • Suite #210 • Toronto • Ontario • M2P 2A9

View Map | Learn More

Aurora **

16 Industrial Parkway South • Aurora • Ontario • L4G 0R4

View Map | Learn More


500 Mapleton Avenue, Suite A • Barrie, Ontario • L4N 9C2

View Map | Learn More

Downtown Toronto **

100 King Street West • Suite #5600 • Toronto • Ontario • M5X 1C9

View Map | Learn More


4257 Sherwoodtowne Blvd Suite #300 • Mississauga Ontario • L4Z 1Y5

View Map | Learn More

Scarborough **

10 Milner Business Court • 3rd Floor • Scarborough • Ontario • M1B 3M6

View Map | Learn More

Grimsby **

33 Main Street West, • Grimsby • Ontario • L3M 1R3

View Map | Learn More

Whitby **

105 Consumers Drive - Unit 2, • Whitby • Ontario • L1N 1C4

View Map | Learn More
** Satellite office that requires you to book an appointment with us prior to arriving at the office.
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
Law Society of Ontario
Peel Law Association
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
York Region Law Association
Collaborative Practice Simcoe County
Law Association Simcoe County
Widows & Orphans Fund