Categories: News and Updates, The Family Lawyer Education Center240 words0.9 min read

What is spousal maintenance?

About the Author: Kristdel Bolog

Kristdel practices solely in Family Law has been a Partner at The Family Lawyer since June 2019. Aside from her amazing ability to recite from memory the entire “Ode to Spot” by Commander Data, she has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from a decade in the field of family law. Kristdel’s passion for the law and a love of helping people through difficult times enables her to put peoples minds at ease, even during complicated or bitter family court proceedings. As our resident “empath” she is The Family Lawyers’ Counsellor and is always there to listen to her colleagues or clients and bring a smile to their faces. Her nickname around the office is “the nerd”, a badge she wears proudly. Kristdel is hardworking, knowledgeable and dedicated to getting great outcomes for her clients. You can contact her at kbolog@thefamilylawyer.com.au or on 03 8657 3751.
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February 20, 2021

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Do I have to support my former spouse financially after we separate?

Under the Family Law Act 1975, a person has a responsibility to financially assist their spouse or former de facto partner, if that person cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their personal income or assets.

In determining whether or not to grant an order for spousal maintenance, the court considers the following about both parties:

  • your age and health
  • your income, property, and financial resources
  • your ability to work
  • what is a suitable standard of living, and
  • if the marriage has affected your ability to earn an income.

The court also takes into account with whom the children (under 18 years of age or adult children who are disabled) live.

You are not entitled to maintenance if you marry another person unless the court otherwise orders. If you start a new de facto relationship the court will take into account the financial relationship between you and your new de facto partner when considering whether you are able to support yourself adequately.

If you were married, applications for spouse maintenance must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.

If you were in a de facto relationship, your applications for de facto partner maintenance must be made within 2 years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship.

If you do not apply within these time limits, you will need special permission of a court. This is not always granted.

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If you need legal advice or support, our experienced and compassionate family lawyers can assist you, whatever stage you may be at. Talk to us today for a FREE 15-minute family law consultation by calling 03 8657 3751 or via email at enquiries@thefamilylawyer.com.au we look forward to helping you achieve a better outcome.

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