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What can a spouse be entitled to after an 18 month marriage?

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

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

“What can a spouse be entitled to after an 18 month marriage ?” $500,000. Yes, half a million dollars.

In the 2003 case of Tauber v. Tauber, the Court of Appeal of Ontario agreed with the trial judge that a lump sum award of $500,000 in spousal support to the wife was reasonable.

The spouses were only married for 1½ years and had one child. Before the marriage, the wife worked as a stylist and earned $60,000 per year. The husband earned $2½ million per year and had a net worth of $20 million.

The husband argued that, given the very short length of the marriage, the wife was not entitled to spousal support and, if she was entitled to support, she should receive monthly support for only 3 years. However, the court decided that the wife’s earning capacity was impaired by the marriage, by her parenting responsibilities and by the breakdown of the marriage. The court decided that the wife’s career continued to be affected by her parenting responsibilities, while the husband’s career was not affected.

Since separation, the wife had been living in rental accommodations and had been forced to move almost annually. The court decided that this lump sum payment would enhance the wife’s economic self-sufficiency by allowing her to purchase a home, which would in turn offer the child more stability. The court ruled that, given the husband’s means and the parties’ lifestyle, the award was not so far beyond what was reasonable.

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.