Appeal court takes tougher line on spousal support

When the Quebec Court of Appeal recently overturned an order that compelled a financial analyst to pay his ex-wife spousal support for an indefinite period, it caught family law experts by surprise.

Even though s. 15.2(3) of the Divorce Act, which came into force in 1985, allows judges to make an order requiring a spouse to secure and pay his ex-spouse sums for a definite period or until a specified event occurs, the appeal court has traditionally shunned from applying such orders and almost always have overturned lower court rulings that issued that time-limited support orders, particularly if children are in the picture and the spouse – usually women – have been out of the workplace for a long time.

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