As part of most divorces – and especially in the case of long-term marriages – you may be required to pay support to your former spouse and to any children you had together. This obligation can arise under either a domestic contract, or under a Court order.
But as the support-paying spouse, what happens if you die? Does your obligation to pay support die with you?
It depends. Although each case will depend on its own facts, in some cases your Estate will have to continue making any support payments after your death, if the terms of any negotiated agreement with your former spouse while you were alive include a clause to this effect. Or, you may have included a provision in your Will that directs your Estate to continue paying support from the assets of your Estate, in line with the terms of any divorce order or a domestic contract.
But what if you want the support to stop once you die? It’s simple: make sure your wishes are reflected in your Will, or that any negotiated domestic contract incorporates this term.
(Note that in some specific situations, your dependants – included a spouse from whom you are separated – can apply to the court for support to be paid out of your Estate after you die. This will be the subject of a separate article).
Shulman Law Firm is a Toronto-area firm of experienced Family Lawyers who can provide practical advice and effective representation relating to the steps and processes involved in separating and getting divorced in Ontario. Contact us to set up a free consultation.