Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee tabled Bill No. 7 today, a proposed amendment to the Family Property and Support Act. The proposed amendment will allow greater access to spousal support for former common-law spouses by removing the time limit for support applications. The proposed amendment would provide equal access to spousal support for common-law and married spouses.
Currently, the Act states that an application for spousal support by a common law spouse must be made within three months of the date of separation. This short time limit places recently separated common-law spouses in a compromising position. They must apply for support either before their relationship has clearly and permanently ended, or allow their claim to lapse before it is clear that the relationship is no longer possible. There is no time limit for married spouses to apply for spousal support.
Bill No. 7 reflects best practices of similar legislation across Canada.
The current time limit for common-law spouses to apply for spousal support is very short and creates a significant barrier for spouses after a relationship ends. This proposed amendment would promote fairness and provide equal access to spousal support for common-law and married spouses. This is another part of our ongoing efforts to modernize laws by making them more inclusive for modern Yukon families.
Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
Spousal support refers to money that one spouse is legally obligated to pay to the other spouse after a relationship has ended.
The proposed amendment would only apply to common law relationships that end after the new Act has come into force.
Married spouses would not be affected as there is no time limit for married spouses to apply for spousal support.