People usually want to stop paying spousal support when their ex-spouse no longer needs financial support or when they believe that they can no longer afford to make the payments.
If you believe your former spouse no longer needs financial support, you request the court to modify or terminate the spousal support order.
In the process, the court will consider various factors, such as changes in the recipient spouse’s income or financial needs, to determine whether a modification or termination of the spousal support order is appropriate.
So, how to not pay spousal support in Canada? Here are some common instances when people ask the court to dismiss them from the spousal support agreement.
1. Prove Your Spouse is Cohabitating or Remarried
One common condition under which spousal support may end is if the receiving spouse gets remarried or starts living with someone else in a romantic relationship.
When the paying spouse becomes aware that the receiving spouse is cohabitating or has remarried, they may file a request with the court to end or modify the spousal support payments.
Proving that a spouse is cohabitating or remarried can be quite challenging. However, you can take different steps to obtain evidence to support your claim.
For instance, you can gather evidence that your ex-spouse is cohabitating or remarried.
You can hire a private investigator or collect information on their social media accounts.
2. Prepare a Fair Marriage Agreement During Tying the Knot
Do you have a prenuptial agreement or prenup? As a legal document, it can include the following:
- Full disclosure
- List any exemptions
- List of assets and debts
- Duration of spousal support etc.
If you want to stop spousal support altogether, check the clause specifying the support duration.
It’s important to note that a prenuptial agreement may not be appropriate or enforceable in all situations. Besides, it will vary among states. Hence, you need to do some digging to know the laws in your state.
3. Prove You Currently Have a Lower Income and Living Standard
Suppose you are seeking to lower or eliminate spousal support payments. In that case, you will need to prove to the court that you have experienced a change in circumstances that justifies the modification of the original spousal support order. A change in circumstances can include a reduction in income or a decrease in your living standard.
To prove a reduction in income, you might have to provide some documents such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements showing your current income is lower than it was when the original spousal support order was issued.
To demonstrate a decrease in living standard, you may need to provide evidence such as receipts for rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and other expenses to show that you are now living on a tighter budget than before.
Read Also: How Long Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support?
4. Try to Get Divorce Fast If You Two are to Separate
If spousal support was awarded in the divorce decree or separation agreement, the paying spouse must continue making payments until the agreed-upon duration or termination date.
Additionally, there will be circumstances specified when one can stop paying. Furthermore, there could be any valid ground for a divorce that won’t be included in the spousal support agreement.
For example, if the divorce decree or separation agreement specifies that spousal support will end upon the recipient spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation with a new partner, getting a divorce would likely terminate the spousal support obligation.
However, seeking a divorce solely to avoid spousal support is not a valid or ethical reason to end a marriage. Besides, you won’t get your request granted anyway if you show a weak reason.
5. Prove Your Ex-spouse’s Adultery
In some jurisdictions, adultery may be grounds for divorce or a factor in determining spousal support.
You will need to present evidence like these to prove adultery:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Social media posts
- Text messages or emails
If your ex-spouse admits to infidelity, this could also be evidence. However, it’s important to note that even if adultery is proven, it may not necessarily result in the termination of spousal support.
In many cases, spousal support is awarded based on factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial needs of both parties, and the earning capacity of both parties.
Considering that—adultery may be considered as one factor in the court’s decision but may not be the only or the most significant factor.
6. Prove Your Ex-partner Now Has a Financial Stability
If your ex-spouse is now stable financially and you believe they no longer need spousal support, you might be qualified to request a modification or termination of the order.
You will need to show the court evidence that your ex-financial spouse’s circumstances have improved to the point where they no longer require support to accomplish this.
Here again, you need to provide financial documentation such as tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs, as well as documentation of any adjustments to your ex-living spouse’s arrangements or financial needs.
7. Ask for a Vocational Evaluation
If you are paying spousal support and believe that your former spouse can work and become self-sufficient, you may be able to request a vocational evaluation to support your request to end spousal support.
A vocational evaluation assesses your former spouse’s skills, education, and work experience to determine their earning capacity. If the vocational evaluation indicates that your former spouse can work and earn a reasonable income, this may be used as evidence to support your request to end spousal support.
However, it’s important to note that a vocational evaluation is not always necessary or appropriate in every case. Whether or not a vocational evaluation is needed will depend on the specific circumstances of your case.
Final Suggestion: How to Not Pay Spousal Support Canada
In Canada, spousal support is a legal obligation determined based on various factors, including the income and financial needs of both spouses. So, this isn’t something that you can avoid simply by wishing not to pay.
However, the abovementioned situations make valid grounds to terminate or modify your spousal support payments. Nevertheless, seeking to modify or terminate spousal support can be a complex legal process.
Therefore, it is recommended that individuals consult with a qualified family law lawyer to discuss their specific situation and options. Additionally, deliberately avoiding spousal support obligations can have serious legal and financial consequences, so it is important to fulfill these obligations as required by law.
For more information, go through the following queries:
How Can I Avoid Paying Alimony in Canada?
By negotiating a settlement, Providing evidence of financial hardship, Contesting legal obligation to the spousal support, and Seeking a change in motion or termination of the support order, you can avoid paying spousal support.
Is Spousal Support Mandatory in Canada?
Spousal support is not mandatory in Canada, but it may be awarded by a court or agreed upon by the parties through negotiation or mediation.
Do You Have to Pay Alimony If Your Spouse Refuses to Work?
That depends. So, the court will determine whether your spouse is entitled to spousal support based on their financial need and your ability to pay. However, the court will consider the case's specific circumstances and will not automatically assume you are responsible for supporting your spouse if they can work.
Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support During a Separation in Canada?
In Canada, spousal support may be payable during a separation, but it depends on the circumstances of each case. Suppose you and your spouse are legally married or have been living in a common-law relationship. In that case, you may have an obligation to provide financial support to your spouse during the separation if they are financially dependent on you.
Does Alimony Last Forever?
In Canada, alimony, also known as spousal support, does not necessarily last forever. The duration of spousal support is determined based on different factors, including the length of the relationship, each spouse's income and earning capacity, and the contributions each spouse made to the relationship.