AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
When one hears the words "spousal support" one typically thinks of money paid to women by men after the breakdown of a marriage. One may also think that the individual getting spousal support is getting it only because she is impoverished and cannot meet her day-to-day living expenses without it. These traditional notions of who gets support and why no longer reflect the changing reality and law of spousal support. The law of spousal support has changed to reflect the changing place of marriage in our society and the roles played within marriage. While spousal support is still more often paid to women than to men after marriage breakdown, it is clear that gender is not the only determining factor in who is awarded spousal support. Furthermore, financial need no longer forms the primary basis for the payment of spousal support.
Prior Rationales for Support
Spousal support used to be awarded to women on the ground that marriage was for life and provided economical shelter to women as they were permitted little if any labour force participation. As views of marriage changed and as barriers to labour force participation by women relaxed somewhat, the rationales for spousal support changed.
In 1985 as part of the changing landscape of spousal support, the new Divorce Act was introduced. This new Act no longer viewed marriage breakdown as based on fault. Importantly, the new Act identified four objectives to be …