A. Definition of “Spouse” and “Spousal Support”

Author:Julien D. Payne - Marilyn A. Payne

Page 216

Pursuant to section 3 of the Civil Marriage Act,1"marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others." Consequential on this parliamentary recognition of the validity of same-sex marriages, section 8(1) of the Civil Marriage Act has amended section 2(1) of the Divorce Act to provide that "‘spouse’ means either of two persons who are married to each other." A same-sex couple, who are married according to the law, may, therefore, invoke the primary and corollary relief provisions of the Divorce Act.2The expression "spousal support" is somewhat misleading because it includes the payment of support to an ex-spouse. Furthermore, some provincial and territorial statutes impose "spousal" support obligations on unmarried cohabitants who have lived together for a designated period of time or who are the parents of a child.

[1] SC 2005, c 33.

[2] RSC 1985 (2d Supp), c 3. See MM v JH...

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