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Spousal Maintenance

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Wednesday 14th of October 2020
By: Eliza Stanley, Law Clerk, Coote Family Lawyers

Your team was superb in allaying my apprehension.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is the financial support of one spouse by the other spouse following the breakdown of a marriage or a de facto relationship.

Spousal maintenance is payable when:

  1. One party needs financial support; and
  2. The other party has the capacity to provide financial support.

A spousal maintenance application will only be successful if both criteria are met – i.e. if one party needs financial assistance but the other party is unable to provide financial assistance, taking into account their own standard of living and expenses, the application will not be successful.

Spousal maintenance can be paid in either lump sum payments or in periodic payments.

Parties should also be aware of the time limits in place for filing spousal maintenance applications. For married couples you have 12 months since the date of your Divorce Order to file a spousal maintenance application. For de facto couples you have 2 years since the date of your separation to file a spousal maintenance application.

When considering your application for spousal maintenance the Court will consider among other things:

-   The age of the parties;

-   The income and financial resources of the parties;

-   The party's ability to work;

-    A suitable standard of living; and

-    If a party has the care of children under the age of 18.

COVID-19 could impact the amount of spousal maintenance you receive from your spouse if, for example, the paying spouse’s income has been reduced.  

Please contact one of our team of top Melbourne divorce lawyers for advice on (03) 9804 0035.

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Many thanks for your help. I am very grateful that you have made a potentially difficult process so easy.

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