Spouse Maintenance

According to the Family Law Act, a party in a marital or de facto relationship has the right to seek for Spousal Maintenance during an event of separation. Spousal maintenance is a financial support provided by the other party in the relationship if the party is unable to support themselves or does not have the capacity to earn an income. If you are currently facing issues with your ex-partner about a spousal maintenance order, please contact our experienced Family Lawyers to assist you in this matter.

Who is eligible to apply for spousal maintenance?

If you have been in a spousal or de facto relationship that is currently broken, you are eligible to apply for spousal maintenance. Different time limit applies:

  • Married couples must make a spousal maintenance application within 12 months of separation
  • De facto couples have up to 2 years from the end of the de facto relationship to apply for spousal maintenance

How long does a spousal maintenance order last?

The length of a spousal maintenance order can be set by a Court for a specified time up until the dependent party is married again, the death of one party or the inability to pay the dependent party.

Why do I need to financially support my ex-partner after separation?

The rationale behind this is that one party may sacrifice their career in order to take care of the household when the other party is working to support the family.

After separation, the dependent party may not be able to reenter the work force or has become inexperienced due to their responsibility to take care of their children. As such, the Family Law Act 1975 has set down a rule which requires a person to provide financial support to their former spouse or de facto partner if that other person is unable to adequately support themselves after the separation.

You may be required to provide financial support up until your former partner is able to adequately support themselves.

Can I apply for spousal maintenance after 12 months of divorce?

If you have exceeded the 12 months period to apply for a spousal maintenance order, you are required to apply to the Court for special permission and state the reasons of your delay.

Do I have to go to court to get spousal maintenance?

Spouses can agree to resolve the spousal maintenance matter without going to Court. However, you should seek family law advice before finalising your matter.

How can my ex-partner pay for my spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance can be paid by instalments or in a lump sum payment. It depends on the needs and preferences of the spouses.

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