If you are struggling financially or finding it difficult to provide for yourself following a divorce or separation, you may claim spousal maintenance.
This article will provide a quick overview of spousal maintenance, its eligibility requirements and provide an extensive list of ‘Spousal Maintenance Australian examples’.
What is Spousal Maintenance?
When you claim spousal maintenance and are successful in doing so, you will receive financial support payments from your former partner as an order from the court. The court will make this order for you to maintain a reasonable standard of living following divorce or separation. However, these payments will not indefinitely continue and are only to be viewed as an aid to help you financially get back on track whilst seeking employment, or pursuing education and so forth.
The likelihood of success of your claim will depend on your unique situation, which is reflected in Section 75 of the Family Law Act (1975). If you are successful in your claim for spousal maintenance, the court may make the following orders:
- For your former partner to make regular periodic payments to you.
- For certain items, including the home of the marriage, to be sold and have the sale proceeds provided to you.
Eligibility Requirements for Spousal Maintenance
- When your former partner has the financial means to support you.
- Spousal maintenance must be awarded within 12 months of the divorce subject to section 44(3) of the Family Law Act 1975.
- Unlike divorce orders, agreeing on the exact date of separation in a de facto relationship may be difficult. Where parties disagree, the Family Court will consider the evidence available by the parties, including photos, witness statements, financial documents etc.
Spousal Maintenance Australia – Examples
Spousal Maintenance Australian Examples & Matters to be Considered Include:
- The health state and age of each party.
- The income, property, and financial resources of both parties.
- The extent to which the payment of maintenance can aid the payment receiver to re-establish themselves by undertaking further education, employment, or training to obtain a sufficient income.
- The physical and mental capacity of the applicant to obtain employment.
- Whether either party has the care or control of a child of the marriage under 18 years of age.
- Any commitments of each party necessary to enable the receiver of the payment to support themselves, a child, or another person.
- The responsibilities of either party to support any other person.
- The eligibility of either party for a pension, allowance or benefit under the commonwealth, state, territory another country.
- Any superannuation fund or scheme within or outside Australia.
- To maintain a standard of living that is reasonable in the circumstances.
- The effect that a spousal maintenance order will have on the ability of either party to pay debts.
- The extent to which the party who will be receiving the maintenance has contributed to the other party’s income, earning capacity, property, and financial resources.
- The duration of the marriage and the extent this has affected the earning capacity of the party receiving maintenance.
- To enable a party to continue their role as a parent.
- Whether either party is cohabitating with another and the financial circumstances relating to that cohabitation.
- Any child support that party to the marriage provided provides or may be liable to provide in the future for a child of the marriage.
- Terms of any pre-existing binding financial agreements on the parties to the marriage.
- Anything else the court may wish to consider.
The terms of any order made under section 79; relating to:
The property of the parties or vested bankruptcy property concerning a bankrupt party; and
- The terms of any order or declaration made or proposed to be made concerning either:
- A party to the marriage.
- A person who is a party to a de facto relationship with a party to the marriage.
The property of a person covered by either 1 or 2.
Vested bankruptcy property in relation to a person covered by either 1 or 2.
What Is the Next Step To Take?
When discussing whether spousal maintenance is applicable, it is essential to note that there are many situations where eligibility can be made out, as highlighted in the ‘spousal maintenance Australia examples’ list above. Suppose you believe that you may qualify for spousal maintenance and wish to apply. In that case, it is time for you to find a reliable and experienced family lawyer to assist with the process.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
Any Further Questions?
If you have any more questions about spousal maintenance Australia examples’ or any other family law matters, check out our blog section for more informative articles on a wide range of family law topics.
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