Spousal Maintenance

by | Mar 12, 2024

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Spousal Maintenance

Married Couples

If a party to a marriage is unable to financially support themselves adequately after separation, that party may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance.

The amount of spousal maintenance depends in the first instance on the needs of the person making the application and the financial capacity of their spouse to meet that financial need. In assessing needs and capacity the Court ignores any social security allowance or pension that is being paid to the person applying for spousal maintenance.

The party making an application proves that he or she has a need for spousal maintenance by establishing one of the following:

    • they have the care and control of a child of the marriage who is under 18 years of age;

    • their age or physical or mental incapacity impedes their ability to work; and

    • any other adequate reason.

In considering a spousal maintenance application, the Court takes into account such matters as the age and health of the parties, the income, property and financial resources of the parties, each party’s obligation to support any other person, their standard of living before separation and the care arrangements for any children.

A party can make an application for spousal maintenance on an urgent, interim or final basis separately from a property settlement application.

Spousal maintenance orders are usually made for a limited period, however, the Court will take into account various factors when considering the timeframe of an order for maintenance.

De Facto Couples

Maintenance matters for de facto couples are dealt with under the Family Law Act 1975. This means that de facto couples have the same maintenance rights and remedies as married couples and that any disputes will be dealt with by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

If a party to a de facto relationship is unable to financially support themselves adequately after separation, that party may be entitled to receive maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance

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Divorce & Separation , De facto relationships , Maintenance , Property Settlement

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