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Is a woman who earns a salary of $68,000 per year and is financially independent still entitled to ongoing spousal support from her ex-husband?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

In the 2003 case of Allaire v. Allaire, the Court of Appeal of Ontario decided that there was no error in law in awarding indefinite spousal support to the wife after a 30 year marriage even though she was financially self-sufficient. The wife was awarded $2,500 per month in spousal support.

During the first 8 years of their marriage, the wife supported the husband while he obtained two university degrees. As a result, the husband became a successful hospital administrator, earning approximately $180,000 per year. The wife had hoped to pursue a university degree, however, this ambition was put aside so that they could start a family. Because she put aside her career ambitions early in the marriage, the wife was unable to pursue careers that required a university degree.

The judge concluded that the wife suffered an economic disadvantage as a result of the marriage. The court stated that it was more appropriate to look at the choices that the spouses made during the marriage and the economic consequences of those choices. The award of spousal support was designed to compensate the wife for the likely permanent economic result of having to postpone her university education, and to adjust for the economic disparity between the two households, based on the spouses’ prior standard of living.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.