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Family Law: who is entitled to spousal support?

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Family law

Arielle, from Ahuntsic, asks us:

"I met my husband in 1990. I was 27 years old at the time. I was a flight attendant for a US airline company and I lived in New York. My husband was 35 years old at the time, lived in Montreal and worked as a salesperson for a local clothing distributor.

We got married in Montreal a few months later, after having signed a marriage contract for separation as to property. Our matrimonial regime was never modified.

Three years later, my husband convinced me that it would be greatly beneficial for his career that we move to Vancouver. I agreed to follow him, thereby abandoning my job. Five years later, my successful husband received a tempting offer from his former employer, inviting him to come back to Montreal – which we did. Ever since our move, I have not been in the work force, which was our mutual agreement.

Today, we are no longer together and I am seriously questioning the marriage contract we signed and its consequences. In fact, one of my concerns is to understand if I would be entitled to some sort of alimony. “

Dear Arielle,

Articles 512 and 587 of the Québec Civil Code provide the criteria for allotting spousal support (alimony).

In summary, the items that are considered by the courts are:

- the circumstances in which the parties find themselves at the time of separation;
- the agreements between them;
- their ages and their health;
- their family responsibilities;
- their job opportunities;
- their existing and foreseeable financial situations; and
- the time necessary for the creditor of support to acquire sufficient autonomy.

In your case, and after having analyzed your situation, you are, without a doubt, a candidate for spousal support.

Sonia Rotondo, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc.

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