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Alimony in Alberta Canada: Your Search for Spousal Support

Alimony in Alberta Canada: Your Search for Spousal Support

In Alberta, Canada, whenever a married couple gets divorced, or an unmarried couple gets separated, they have the right to claim their spousal support from their ex-partners. In most cases, there is a spousal support agreement where all the necessary details about spousal support are clearly mentioned. Problems arise when any specific information is not outlined, such as the date of end or termination.

This article offers you a complete guideline about all your queries on spousal support in Canada. So, let’s dive in.

What is Alimony or Spousal Support?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the financial support transited from one spouse to another after their marriage or any other adult relationship breaks up in which they were interdependent to each other. Just obeying the child support law is not enough in Alberta. Canadian law, especially in Alberta, spousal support is highly encouraged in a divorce case.

Spousal support Alberta is basically intended to reduce financial inequality between the spouses after their separation. While in a mutual relationship, a couple involves in a number of works where they earn jointly. So, when they get separated, they possess the right to get this support from their spouses to live a better life without any financial hardship.

Who is Entitled to Spousal Support?

It is a very common question who will get entitled to spousal support in Canada or who actually deserves the alimony payments. This decision is completely up to the court. There are no specific rules for this entitlement. When this question comes, the court takes the decision on the basis of a number of factors.

Such as whose income is higher between the spouses, how much they earn monthly, how much they need to expense per month, how much support one can provide to the other, how many children they have, and many more issues are there.

So, if you want a solid answer to this question, it is quite impossible to satisfy you then. Because every couple deals with different circumstances, their entitlement gets different accordingly. However, you might get some spousal support guidelines that will definitely give you a clear concept regarding this matter.

How is Spousal Support Calculated in Alberta?

In the case of alimony Alberta, usually, the spouse who earns higher provides support to the spouse whose income is lower. While taking the decision, judges might refer to some advisory statements from the department of justice, Canada. But along with these, they also consider a number of factors in alimony Canada calculation. Such as:

  • What is the length of the marriage?
  • What are the financial means of the spouses?
  • What are the financial needs of the spouses?
  • What role does each spouse play during their marriage, like homemaker, primary earner, etc.?
  • What are the financial implications of these roles?
  • Are there any children? If so, how many?
  • How much do they need to care for their children?
  • Is there any agreement already placed for spousal support?

When Does Spousal Support Usually End in Alberta?

When the judge decides the true deserver of spousal support, he will also decide the amount and duration of that support depending upon the mentioned criteria.

How long a person can get spousal support basically depends upon the reasonable circumstances of the case and also the lengths of the marriage. However, there are some general rules based on which the judge decides the ending of spousal support in Alberta:

  • The spousal support will end forever when the receiver of the support dies.
  • But if the payer dies, the spousal support might not get ended if the payer possesses any assets or life insurance like RRSPs which can continue the support.
  • The support might end when the receiver marries someone else or starts living with another person. But it does not end automatically; the payer has to appeal and show sufficient proof.
  • Another issue is when the payer gets retired, the support might end. Again it needs a proper procedure to be ended. A professional spousal support lawyer might help with this issue.

In some spousal cases, there is an agreement about spousal support and a specific date or duration mentioned when the spousal support will end, such as, it will end with the death of the payer or the receiver. But in most cases, there is no time mentioned. That does not mean that the spousal support will not end ever. It will also end, maybe based on any of the above-outlined issues.

How Can You Terminate Spousal Support Early?

Generally, the court of Alberta does not agree to re-assess or terminate the spousal support in any normal or trivial issue. But if the case is seriously major, the court then agrees to recheck the spousal support for a change or termination.

There are four major steps of terminating spousal support:

Checking the Spousal Support Agreement

The very first thing you should do is to check your spousal support agreement once again to find out whether there is any specific date or at least a review date is mentioned or not. Most commonly, the agreement carries a date when the spousal support will go over, e. g., the death or remarriage of an ex-spouse.

Assessing Whether There is Any Material Change to Your Situation

Before applying for termination, re-assess your circumstances again. You must need a solid and logical change in your situation for termination. Such as, you might have lost your job, or the receiver might have started living with another person, etc. Without a significant change in your situation, the court will never accept your application for termination. So it is always better to seek legal advice in Calgary.

Discussing the Situation with Your Partner

If you and your ex-spouse both want to end the spousal support and you both have logical reasons, it is better to have an open discussion between you to end the process. You can discuss face to face, and better to have one mediator or legal counsel present in that discussion.

Applying to the Court for Termination

Now you can apply to the court. But before that, you have to file a motion of change in the spousal support where you will show your reasons why you want to do so. Better to have assistance from an experienced family lawyer in Calgary.

What is Spousal Support under the Divorce Act of Canada?

Spousal support under the divorce act of Canada refers to the legislation where you apply for your spousal support after your divorce. It states that you were married at a time, and now you have decided to get divorced, and you need spousal support after divorce for a better life. The divorce act of Canada basically deals with three questions in this regard:

  • Are you able to get entitlement for spousal support in this case?
  • How much support will you get from your spouse?
  • How long will you get this support?

What is Spousal Support under the Family Law Act of Alberta?

What is spousal support Alberta under the family law act implies the legislation where both married and unmarried couples can apply for spousal support. Unmarried couples mean those who were in an interdependent adult relationship and now are getting separated. For this unmarried spousal support, the couple must stay in a relationship for long 3 years at least.


Finally, we sum up our discussion here. Probably now you have got a clear understanding of alimony in Alberta, Canada, right? Spousal support helps to live a better life without any hardship or tension about financial issues, even after separation. Every couple should support their ex-partners at least for a certain period to become stable in their new life. For further details, we recommend you consult with a professional divorce law lawyer.