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Will I have to financially support my ex?

If you go through a divorce, there may come a time when you realize that you need to pay spousal support. Of course, you could find yourself on the other side of the equation. You could be the person who is owed support.

The law expects both parties to make an attempt to be self-sufficient. In some cases, however, the person with more money may be required to pay the other.

Here is an example. If one person was out of work for many years or stuck in a low-paying job, he or she may not have the ability to reach self-sufficiency. For this reason, one's spouse may be required to pay long-term support. Here are some of the many things the law takes into consideration:

-- The health and age of both individuals

-- Potential employment opportunities

-- The effect of the relationship on employment opportunities

-- The contribution of each party to the family during the relationship

-- The contribution to the other person's career during the relationship

-- The standard of living before separation

-- The time it will take one person to become self-sufficient

There is no guarantee you will have to financially support your spouse after a divorce. There is also no guarantee that you will receive this type of assistance.

With so much gray area, you will not know if this is required by the law until the court makes a final decision. Even so, you need to have a clear idea of how the law looks at this, as it is the only way to know for sure what the future holds.

Source: Ministry of the Attorney General, "What You Should Know About Family Law in Ontario," accessed March 22, 2016

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