What do I need to know about making an agreement on spousal support?

You can make an agreement about spousal support, including making an agreement:

  • About the amount and duration of spousal support
  • That gives up the right to spousal support, or
  • About the circumstances that will end or change spousal support (For example, you may agree spousal support will end when the recipient gets remarried or finishes a training program.)

But you cannot say in your agreement that spousal support will only be paid if the recipient does not have sexual relations after separation. This term will not be binding and the duty to pay support will continue.

If you have a written agreement about spousal support that is signed and witnessed, the court will only be able to change it in certain circumstances.

The court can set aside an agreement about spousal support in limited circumstances. For example, the agreement was unfairly made because there was a lack of financial disclosure or one person took unfair advantage of the other’s vulnerability.

The agreement can also be set aside if it is “significantly unfair” taking into account:

  • How long ago the agreement was made
  • Changes in the circumstances of either spouse such as income or level of need considering the objectives of spousal support
  • The intention of the spouses, and
  • The degree to which the spouses have relied on the agreement

If you have a written agreement about spousal support, you can file it with the court registry and enrol it with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).

The FMEP can enforce the order or agreement if necessary. This means they can help you get your spousal support if your spouse is late in making payments or refuses to pay.