Question: I am thinking of entering into a new relationship. How this will affect the spousal support I receive?
Answer: Spousal support can be compensatory in situations where:
1. the recipient left a career for the purposes of raising children or
2. other circumstances where the recipient suffered financially as a result of a commitment to the relationship.
In cases of compensatory support, the support amount is not necessarily variable until the goal (compensation for loss of income) is achieved, even if the recipient becomes remarried or re-partnered.
Spousal support that is non-compensatory can be terminated or varied if the recipient remarries or takes a partner, but not in all circumstances. The specific facts of the case will determine what the Court will do.
The important considerations for non-compensatory support are:
a) Has there been a “material change in circumstances” from the date of the support order that would merit a variance or termination of spousal support?
A “material change in circumstances” means a change, such that, if known at the time, would likely have resulted in different terms. Willick v. Willick, 1994 CanLII 28 (SCC),  3 S.C.R. 670.
b) Would a re-partnering or remarriage create a “material change in circumstances”? If the payer knew, at the time the support order was made, that the recipient was involved with a third party and that the re-partnering was a possible outcome, then the re-partnering or remarriage was foreseeable and is not necessarily a “material change in circumstances”. Morigeau v. Moorey, 2013 BCSC 1923 (CanLII).
c) What are the circumstances of the re-partnering? Even if the re-partnering or remarriage was not foreseeable, the court would look at the circumstances of the re-partnering or remarriage.
Specifically, the Court will look at the length of the first marriage, the age of the recipient and the standard of living of the recipient in the new household. Spousal support paid after a long traditional first marriage is less likely to be terminated but may be reduced depending on the standard of living in the new household.