Jurisdiction: Canada Canada

Under the Divorce Act, spouse means a legally married spouse. Generally, the term "spouse" also includes a person who is a former spouse. At the time of writing, the Divorce Act definition of spouse had not been amended to include spouses in same-sex marriages but the term will encompass them if such an amendment is made. Under provincial/territorial family law, the definition of "spouse" varies, but generally has been extended to include certain "common law" or cohabiting couples who are not legally married. Provincial/territorial law may also extend support obligations to certain relationships other than spousal relationships, such as civil unions or same-sex partnerships.

Source: Glossary of Terms - Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines July 2008, Department of Justice Canada