1. Learn about family law and spousal support
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Question & AnswerCan I get spousal support and money from OW?
Ontario Works (OW) uses the family law definition of spouse in their rules about support payments.
These rules say that OW can require you to make “reasonable efforts” to get from someone who is or was your spouse as defined by family law.
OW uses a different definition to decide if you’re eligible for assistance.
Family law definition of “spouse”
In family law, a spouse is someone of the same or opposite sex who:
- you’re to
- you’ve been living with as a couple for at least 3 years
- you’ve been living with, in what the law calls “a relationship of some permanence”, and the two of you have a child together
To decide if you’re in “a relationship of some permanence”, the law considers many things. Some of these things could be:
- whether you live together
- your personal and sexual habits
- how you behave with each other in public
- whether you support each other or your children financially
- whether other people see you as a couple
What spousal support is and who pays it
The law says you’re expected to try to support yourself. But sometimes you can get spousal support from your partner if they earn more than you do.