SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE

What is Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance | DIY Family Law Australia

Spousal Maintenance is different to Child Support and Adult Child Maintenance. 

Spousal Maintenance might be payable in addition to Child Support or Child Maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance is a payment by one spouse to their former spouse, to assist them to support themselves after separation or divorce. 

Spousal Maintenance can be payable either as a weekly amount for a certain period of time (for example a 6 months, a year, 3 years etc), or Spousal Maintenance can be paid as a lump sum amount. 

If you watch American Television shows or Hollywood movies, you might have heard spousal maintenance referred to as alimony.

Who is eligible for Spousal Maintenance

Can you apply for Spousal Maintenance? When might you be entitled to be paid Spousal Maintenance by their former partner?

Unfortunately some people are not eligible to apply for Spousal Maintenance.

Before a Court can consider whether or not it should make an Order for one spouse to pay Spousal Maintenance to their former Spouse, the Court firstly needs to make sure that the couple meet the basic threshold eligibility criteria so that a former spouse is entitled to apply for Spousal Maintenance.

Marital Relationships & Spousal Maintenance

If you are married, you are able to apply for Spousal Maintenance. 

The date of your separation does not have any effect on whether you are able to seek Spousal Maintenance.

De Facto Relationships & Spousal Maintenance

If you were in a De-facto relationship, whether or not you are eligible to apply for Spousal Maintenance depends on the date of your separation.

De-facto spouses may be able to apply for spousal maintenance if:

  • you are from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory and you separated after 1 March 2009;
  • you are from South Australia and you separated after 1 March 2009;
  • you are from Western Australia and separated after 1 December 2002.

If you were in a De-facto relationship and you separated prior to the date stated above that applies to you (based on the state you live in) then you are not eligible to make an application for Spousal Maintenance.

This is because the law changed to allow those who have been in a De-facto relationship to seek Spousal Maintenance. The date the law changed depended on when the specific States agreed to change the law, meaning the changes to the law took effect from different dates in different states.

Who may not be eligible for Spousal Maintenance

You may not be eligible for Spousal Maintenance if:

  • you have since married someone else;
  • you have entered into a new de-facto relationship as the circumstances of that de-facto relationship will be considered.
  • you are a de-facto couple outside Australia;
  • you are from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory and you separated before 1 March 2009;
  • you are from South Australia and you separated before 1 March 2009;
  • you are from Western Australia and separated before 1 December 2002.

Spousal Maintenance: More you should know

You can read information as to when Spousal Maintenance might be payable by one spouse to their former spouse in our fact sheet Can I get paid Spousal Maintenance. This fact sheet also gives some examples of the most common situations in which an order for Spousal Maintenance might be made.

There is a list of things the law says the court must look at when considering whether a person should be ordered to pay Spousal Maintenance to their former partner. You can read that list in our fact sheet List of matters considered for whether Spousal Maintenance is payable.

We have a fact sheet explaining how payment of Spousal Maintenance is calculated.

Our fact sheet Frequently answered questions about Spousal Maintenance has more information about:

  • Period Payments or Lump Sum Spousal Maintenance;
  • What if Financial Circumstances change
  • What if my former spouse fails to make payments;
  • When do periodic Spousal Maintenance payments end;

A time limit does apply as to when you can make your application for Spousal Maintenance.

If an order for payment of Spousal Maintenance has not previously been made, then there are time limits that apply as to how quickly after your separation or divorce you will need to make an application for Spousal Maintenance. You can read more about this in our fact sheet, Spousal Maintenance Time Limits.

 

Please show support for our free service by liking our Facebook Page

Find Us on Facebook

Content By:
Michelle Beatty
MRB LAW

Other Questions answered in the Spousal Maintenance Section

 

You might also be interested in the following sections of our website
(access by clicking below or from the left side Navigation Menu)

 

Publishing Rights:
You may republish our Fact Sheets in your website, newsletter, or book, on the condition that you agree to leave the article, author’s signature, and all links completely intact as well as make reference to the fact it is provided courtesy of:
“www.diyFamilyLawAustralia.com”

TOPICS

HOW WE HELP
Middle Aged Man


"I don't want to
lose everything.
I need to know
where I stand.
"


Middle Aged Man

"I can't afford
legal costs. I
need help to
do as much as
I can myself.
"



GET HELP
FROM US
SO YOU

  • Do It Yourself
  • Avoid Legal Costs
  • Reduce Stress
  • Know Your Rights
  • Understand your
    Obligations
  • Prepare your case
    thoroughly
GET HELP
MRB Law Ask about our Fixed Fee Options

WE HELP YOU

  • DO IT YOURSELF
  • AVOID LEGAL COSTS
  • REDUCE STRESS
  • KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
  • UNDERSTAND YOUR OBLIGATIONS
  • PREPARE YOUR BEST CASE

 

Get Important Updates, Tips, Free Advice Sessions by liking us on Facebook

 

Full List of Free Fact Sheets available on DIY Family Law Australia's Website

 

Ask DIY Family Law Australia a Question

 

 

Your Logo Could Be Here