A separating spouse, or person whose same sex or de facto relationship has broken down, does not automatically receive maintenance from the other party. Spousal maintenance is different from child support.
Generally, spousal maintenance Orders will be made when one party after separation cannot meet their reasonable expenses themselves from their own income and assets and the other party has a capacity to provide some or all of that demonstrated shortfall.
When determining whether a party is entitled to spousal maintenance and how much spousal maintenance (if any) will be paid, the Court will take into account a number of factors including:
- The age and state of health of both parties;
- Their income, property and financial resources;
- Their physical and mental capacity for gainful employment;
- Whether either party has the care and control of a child under the age of eighteen (18) years; and
- A reasonable standard of living in all of the circumstances.
You can apply for spousal maintenance:
- As soon as you separate, however, time limits do apply.
- Without applying for a property settlement or a divorce
Spousal maintenance is usually paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Some parties may be eligible to secure a lump sum spousal maintenance payment.
Spousal maintenance payments will usually end upon death or re-marriage/re-partnering of the person receiving the payment.
Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers is experienced at assisting you assess a spousal maintenance claim. We can help you determine what reasonable needs a party may have and also what capacity a party may have to pay a spousal maintenance Order.