When a couple separates, one spouse may be eligible to receive financial support from the other. This is called spousal support.
Spousal support is separate and distinct from child support.
Unlike child support, spousal support is not a right in every case. You are entitled to spousal support in certain situations.
Time limit to apply for court order
If you were married, you must apply for spousal support under the Family Law Act within two years after you get an order for divorce. If you are applying for spousal support under the Divorce Act, you do not have a time limit.
If you were unmarried, and you qualify for spousal support, you must apply within two years of the date you separated.
We recommend you get legal advice before you make any final decisions about spousal support.
For more information, please see Spousal support on Legal Aid BC's Family Law in BC website.
Family justice counsellors and child support officers can help
Family justice counsellors and child support officers can:
- Provide information about spousal support and calculate spousal support ranges using the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines
- If your spouse agrees, work with both of you to negotiate a spousal support amount
Contact the family justice centre or justice access centre nearest you to speak with a family justice counsellor or child support officer.