Spousal Maintenance

When is spousal maintenance applicable?

Spousal Maintenance will come into effect on the basis that a party to the relationship is liable to maintain the other party, if the other party is unable to support themselves because:

  • they may have the care of small children,
  • they are not able to obtain employment due to their age, mental or physical health or
  • other adequate reasons that the court will consider.

It is important if you are considering making a spousal maintenance claim, that you consider the financial ability of the party to actually pay the maintenance.

Spousal maintenance applications are applicable to married couples and de facto couples that separate.

Types of spousal maintenance orders:

You can apply for:

  • urgent spousal maintenance,
  • interim spousal maintenance until your matter is financialised or
  • a final order for spousal maintenance.

Limitation periods for spousal maintenance:

The limitation period for married couples is 12 months after the date of divorce and for de facto couples it is 24 months after the date of separation.

Is spousal maintenance different to child support?

Yes, spousal maintenance is separate of any child support payable. Spousal maintenance is a payment to the party that is unable to support themselves. The payment is for basic living expenses such as rent, food, car and clothing. Child Support relates to the children of the relationship and any assessed amount payable by the child support agency will be in addition to any Spousal Maintenance payment that is received.

Have you recently separated and have no money or financial support?

Contact us to discuss your circumstances. It is possible to apply to the court for urgent interim spousal maintenance or a partial property settlement. If you are concerned that you are not able to pay legal fees, we consider and assess each client’s case. In some circumstances we agree to act and for legal fees to be paid at the conclusion of your matter.

In order to strengthen your spousal maintenance application, there are steps you can take and evidence that you put forward to the Court. Contact us today to talk to an experienced family law solicitor at our Newcastle office.

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