Spousal Maintenance is financial support which is paid by a party to a marriage from their former husband or wife in scenarios where they are unable to support themselves.
You need to understand that this can continue even after separation and divorce. It’s usually applied or sought after where one party does not have property but is in a more financial position to support themselves and the other party whereas the other party is unable to support themselves.
If there is an agreement between both parties spousal maintenance orders will be less costly to obtain and less time-consuming. There can also be financial agreements however because a court does not consider the validity of the agreement the court can have it set aside. This means to enforce the financial agreement the court will test its validity and if it deems it invalid that means that the financial agreement cannot be enforced.
Court considerations regarding spousal maintenance
- Age and health
- Income, property and financial resources
- Capacity to work
- Suitable standard of living, and
- If the marriage has affected the ability to earn an income
De facto relationship
If the relationship was considered a de facto relationship De facto partner maintenance applies which is financial support paid by a party to a de facto relationship that has broken down to their former de facto partner in circumstances where they are unable to properly support themselves.
Whilst child support continues depending on circumstances spousal maintenance does not usually continue if the party receiving spousal maintenance marries another person unless the court orders otherwise.
How do I apply?
Whilst the court has many useful links, brochures and support mechanisms for assistance feel free to give us a call to assist you in assisting you navigate through your rights, procedure and costs associated with bringing such an application. If you need to apply please understand that there are time limits that apply. If you are seeking spousal maintenance an application must be made within 12 months of your divorce. If you were in a de facto relationship, an application must be made within 2 years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship. Our experienced lawyers are available will give you a free initial consultation.