Spousal Support

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In North America approximately 50% of all marriages will end in a divorce. Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage that can sometimes lead to one party having to pay spousal support, also known as alimony. Spousal support is an allowance made under a court order to a divorced person by the former spouse (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 2003). In Canada it is a common belief that regardless of the reasons for divorce or separation the man can predictably be expected to pay spousal support. One of the most common grounds for divorce or separation in Canada is the infidelity of a partner. However, many find it hard to justify that a man should pay alimony when the reason for a divorce or separation is due to the infidelity of the wife. This issue can be looked at from both sides, one being that the man should have to pay. Canada has a no-fault system; therefore, alimony is based on need not conduct. If the wife was economically dependent on the husband's income, then she should be awarded alimony to help her get by as a single person. Also, the standard of living during the marriage can affect the amount of alimony the wife might receive. On the other hand, woman should not be getting spousal support automatically just because they were married. With a no-fault rule in place, there is no deterrent for woman to make a commitment to their marriage, because whether they have cheated or not they could always leave with the possibility of receiving a better income than before. Women have pressed for years to get equal rights but still expect support from their former husband once they divorce.

Whether it is considered just or not that men should be paying alimony for a spouse that has committed adultery, under Canadian law it does not matter. The Supreme Court of Canada's Divorce Act states that "the court shall not make into consideration any misconduct of a spouse in relation to the marriage" (Canadian Press, 2004). This...
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