There are numerous deadlines and limitation periods one should know when dealing with a separation, divorce or other family law matter.
Property Claims and Spousal Support
For married spouses, the limitation period to commence a claim for division of family property and debt, pension division and/or spousal support is two years from either the date the divorce is granted by a judge or the date the marriage is nullified by court order.
For unmarried spouses in a common-law or marriage-like relationship, the limitation date is two years from the date the spouses separate.
These limitation periods are pursuant to section 198(2) of the Family Law Act and each depends on whether the spouses are married or common-law.
Child support claims do not have the same time-limits. Child support is considered a right of the child, not the parent. In the case of a claim for child support from a step-parent however there is a limitation period of one year. A step-parent has a duty pursuant to section 147(4)(a) of the Family Law Act to pay child support if they contributed to the child’s day to day cost of living for one year or more and section 147(4)(b) states that the claimant must commence such a claim within one year from the date the step-parent last contributed.
Canada Pension Plan Credits
For married spouses, either spouse can make a claim to divide CPP credits at any time unless one of the spouses dies, in which case the surviving spouse must make a claim within three years.
These deadlines are currently suspended during the COVID-19 crisis.
Deborah A. Todd