A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision could be seen to stretch the definition of spouse when it comes to spousal support and may spark more family law litigation, predicts one family lawyer.
“This is sort of a very specific issue in terms of who do we consider to be a spouse,” said Russell Alexander, the founder and senior partner with Markham, Ont.-based Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.
“The traditional model is you’re living continuously under the same roof,” he told The Lawyer’s Daily. “This particular case kind of takes it to the next level. They were dating and they were certainly spending time together, but they were also living separate and apart in their own residences. So really it takes a much more expansive view, in my opinion, of the definition of spouse.”