Maintenance

Married Couples

If a party to a marriage is unable to financially support himself or herself 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 his or her spouse to meet that 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 of the parties, their health, their obligation to support any other person and their standard of living before separation.

A party can make a spousal maintenance application 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 the age or disability of a party in considering the timeframe for the order.

De Facto CouplesĀ 

Maintenance matters for de facto couples are dealt with under theĀ 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 either the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. De facto couples include same sex couples.

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

In considering a maintenance application, the Court takes into account such matters as the age of the parties, their health, their obligation to support any other person and their standard of living before separation.

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

Maintenance orders are usually made for a limited period, however the Court will take into account the age or disability of a party in considering the timeframe for the order.

Put an expert on your side

At Pigdon|Norgate Family Lawyers we specialise in all aspects of family law, including maintenance. We provide guidance every step of the process to help you move forward. If you would like to speak to a member of our team get in touch today.