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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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Can I get support for myself?

You might be able to claim spousal support from your partner. If you were not married, you must have lived together for at least 3 years. Or, you must have had a child together and were in a relationship of "some permanence".

The court looks at a number of things when deciding whether to order your partner to pay spousal support. These include:

  • the needs and financial situation of each partner
  • the length of the marriage or relationship
  • the role each of you played during the marriage or relationship (for example, if one of you stayed at home to look after the children)
  • the effect of these roles on each partner and their current financial position
  • whether your partner signed an immigration sponsorship agreement

The court wants each partner to eventually be able to take care of themselves, if possible. For example, if the judge thinks you will be able to go back to work someday, the amount of support you receive might decrease over time, and then end.

If your partner is receiving social assistance, you are not likely to get an order for spousal support.

For more information, see the CLEO resource Separation and Divorce: Spousal Support.