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Spousal Maintenance After Divorce in Australia

In the area of spousal maintenance in Australia, one must distinguish between separation maintenance, which is paid during separation but still in the existing marriage, and divorced maintenance (post-marital maintenance). Therefore, there is quite different regulation regarding financial compensation between married couples. It should be no. However, care for children always has priority over the […]

Spousal Maintenance After Divorce in Australia

Spousal Maintenance After Divorce in Australia

In the area of spousal maintenance in Australia, one must distinguish between separation maintenance, which is paid during separation but still in the existing marriage, and divorced maintenance (post-marital maintenance). Therefore, there is quite different regulation regarding financial compensation between married couples. It should be no. However, care for children always has priority over the spouse or partner. Therefore child support must first be satisfied before further support payments are made.

Who receives spousal support?

Regarding spousal maintenance in Australia, a distinction is made between separation and divorce maintenance. The separation maintenance has to be paid if the couple separate date, but they did not make the divorce petition has provided. Suppose a spouse cannot support themself during the separation period or cannot maintain the marital standard of living. In that case, the economically better-off partner has to pay the worse-off spouse maintenance support, provided he is productive. Divorced alimony is paid after the divorce. It considers if a spouse cannot provide for their living or compensate for marriage-related disadvantages. However, the legislation offers strict side requirements and emphasizes the spouse’s responsibility.

How long after a divorce?

There are no rigid guidelines regarding the length of spousal maintenance QLD. In principle, however, there is no lifelong maintenance claim. Entitlement to separation maintenance usually ends with the divorce or if the person entitled to care has been living with a new partner for more than one year. The duration of the divorce maintenance will be decided in individual cases by a court – if there is a claim or not provided for in a marriage contract or an agreement on the consequences of divorce.

Spousal maintenance Australia 

As the two descriptions show, separate maintenance is granted if a separation has been carried out, but no divorce has yet been filed, or the marriage has not yet been divorced. 

Divorced alimony

Divorced maintenance will only be considered if the divorce has already been completed – the marriage was therefore terminated by the verdict – and the maintenance issues are to be clarified. It should be noted, however, that the legislator has strict requirements. This includes, in particular, the exercise of a proper job after the marriage (the standard of living during the union does not necessarily have to remain the same, increased personal responsibility or employment obligation), as well as the limitation of the maintenance claim or even its forfeiture. Regarding the exercise of appropriate activity, reference should be made to the increased obligation to work due to the last maintenance reform.

Similarities and differences between separation and divorce

We can define three differences between separation and divorce that need to be considered. Therefore, if you are considering ending your marital relationship, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • While separation does not end the marriage, divorce is final and is based on a judicial decision.
  • Divorce also implies the dissolution of the economic bond with the spouse. The separation does this only to a limited extent.
  • After separation, the spouses cannot marry someone else until the divorce is final.

In some respects, these two aspects are nevertheless similar. We see these similarities below:

  • It doesn’t matter whether there has been a recognized separation or divorce – the right to inheritance is lost unless there is a will that states otherwise.
  • Once the separation is recognized, or the divorce is completed, action will be required on the care and custody of the children and visiting rights. The children’s maintenance costs are determined, and the typical house or apartment use is clarified.

Care maintenance for the care of minors

Whether they are married or not and have children from the partnership, parents can justify their maintenance claim with childcare maintenance. In addition to child support, childcare support is to be granted for the care of children up to the age of three. If this age limit is exceeded, a case-by-case examination is required since here, too, reference is made to the obligation to work.

Spousal support Australia calculator

You can use the following calculator for spousal maintenance in Australia to calculate the amount of care. The calculator automatically deducts 5% of the monthly net income as work-related costs. If you have higher prices because, for example, the advertising costs are higher than this 5% or if you still have debts for loans, for instance, a home, these must be entered in the field under income.

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In the case of spousal maintenance in Australia, a distinction must be made between several maintenance periods that do not overlap in time:

Family support: During an intact marriage in which the spouses live together, there is a right to family support.

Separation maintenance: From the separation to the legal force of the divorce, there is a right to separation maintenance.

Post-marital maintenance: After the divorce, there is a claim to post-marital care.

All these maintenance types are part of the spousal maintenance Australia example but are entirely independent of one another and are structured differently. Knowing the relevant criteria makes assessing your situation in a specific case easier. The most important–

  • During the marriage, spouses have a mutual obligation to support the spouse and contribute to the family support through their work and property. The maintenance includes the necessities of life for the wife, the husband, and the dependent children.
  • A partner can usually meet this obligation to maintain the spouse by running the household.
  • Both spouses are entitled to work. However, it would help if you considered the interests of others and your family.
  • With the separation, the obligation to support the spouse ends, and the obligation to contribute to the family’s support. If a partner is now dependent on cash benefits, he is “needy” and can claim separation maintenance from the partner. According to his circumstances, he is only obliged to earn his own money if this can be expected.
  • Previous employment, the duration of the marriage, and the economic circumstances of both spouses must be considered.
  • If the divorce is final, the needy spouse can demand post-marital maintenance.
  • The law defines different requirements for this post-marital maintenance.
  • Every divorced spouse is, first of all, obliged to provide for themselves; only if the spouse cannot support himself after the divorce is he entitled to post-marital maintenance.
  • The legislature has precisely defined the circumstances in which post-marital maintenance is possible.

Family maintenance: maintenance obligations during the marriage

Marriage as a community of solidarity

During the marriage, spouses are mutually obligated to contribute to the family’s maintenance as an expression of their marital solidarity and to support the family adequately through their work and property. The spouses must share all available funds with their underage children if necessary.

Housekeeping is also maintenance.

The maintenance is to be paid through work or out of the property. If a partner is left with housekeeping, he usually fulfils his maintenance obligation by running the household. It does not depend on his possible need to be entertained by his partner. He is also not expected to contribute to the maintenance with paid work. Housekeeping and childcare are on an equal footing with the partner’s job.

The spouses regulate their household management by mutual agreement. If this is left to a partner, he will manage the household as his responsibility. In doing so, he is only responsible for the care he is used to in his affairs. This means that the partner has to accept human errors or inadequacies of the other (“something like that can happen.” for example: buying a high-tech television based on the urgent recommendation of the seller). The same premise applies to those who criticize their partner for their decision.

Each partner is allowed to work.

Both spouses are entitled to work. However, it would help if you considered the interests of others and your family. Who has to be more considerate can only be agreed upon by mutual agreement.

If both spouses are gainfully employed, each spouse’s share of maintenance is based on the ratio of income that each receives from property and work. If a spouse is gainfully employed, although he is not required to do so, they must provide a proportion of his income. As far as he also runs the household, compromises are justified.

The maintenance includes real-life needs.

Maintenance consists of the necessities of life for the spouse and the familiar dependent children. This consists of the expenses …

  • For the household
  • For the personal needs of each spouse. These include vacation, leisure time, participation in social life, medical treatment, and pension provision.
  • For the emotional needs of the joint-dependent child
  • For adequate pocket money from the spouse managing the household

Housekeeping requires economic money.

The marriage maintenance claim is not necessarily directed to a monetary payment. Instead, the maintenance is to be provided in the manner required by the cohabitation. Thus, benefits in kind, such as housekeeping or the possibility of living in the spouse’s house, are also possible. The economic money required to secure maintenance must be made available to the spouse managing the household at an inappropriate time in advance.

How is Adjusted Net Income calculated?

The starting point is gross income. The gross income is calculated for employees from the average income of the last 12 months, for self-employed and freelancers from the average income of the previous three years based on the final income tax assessments.

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Donations and inheritances are not considered unless they have helped shape the marital standard of living.

The following are added to gross income: 

  • Fictitious income: If the person liable for maintenance willfully does not work or works less than he should or could, a corresponding payment is considered (“fictitious”).
  • Income from renting a property
  • Interest on capital
  • Income from business investments
  • Unemployment benefit
  • Pensions of any kind
  • Benefits in kind from the employer (company car, canteen meals)
  • Special payments such as Christmas bonuses or vacation pay
  • tax returns
  • Severance payments as a result of a terminated or terminated employment relationship
  • Short-time allowance
  • Bad weather money
  • Living value of your own, self-inhabited property

The following are deducted from gross income: 

  • Public law fees (wage tax, property tax)
  • Social insurance contributions (health insurance, pension contributions) If the person liable for maintenance is not subject to social insurance (e.g., self-employed or freelance), a share of approx. 20% of his gross income must be credited to his private pension.
  • Appropriate retirement benefits for private retirement provision Practical tip 6: Retirement benefits are deductible up to 4% of gross income.
  • Work-related expenses (flat rate of 5 % of net income; higher fees only with proof.
  • Loan benefits accrued during the marriage (e.g., interest and repayments for the family home)
  • Training costs
  • Maintenance obligations to primarily dependent children. 

The Australian Civil Code determines the order of priority for several dependents. Underage, unmarried children always come first. The person liable for maintenance must, therefore, primarily serve the children.

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Spousal support is a complex legal issue.

Since the circumstances of the individual case matter in most spousal maintenance Australia cases and the family court decides on the maintenance claim upon application, prior legal advice is recommended. The lawyer – ideally a specialist lawyer for family law – can provide comprehensive advice on the respective options and initiate the necessary steps to assert maintenance claims. Victims should not hesitate to seek legal assistance from their trusted lawyer. It is spousal support to ensure economic existence. A lawyer was also required to examine the maintenance debtor’s claims. I would be happy to advise you personally in my office in Weiden if you have any questions about your requirements. Just give us a call and make an appointment.

Frequently Answer Question

What is spousal maintenance?

The claim to spousal maintenance in Australia is based on Australian Civil Law. It can exist when a married couple gives up their domestic community and marital cohabitation in the face of an imminent divorce and the spouses separate. According to Australian law, every divorce has to be preceded by a so-called year of separation.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support is part of the family law obligations created with the initiation of marriage. Married spouses owe each other maintenance. This applies to marriage, a separation phase and, under certain conditions, divorce.

What applies to spousal support in the event of separation and divorce?

With the separation, a new section begins regarding maintenance law for spouses. It is no longer a question of the obligation to contribute to housekeeping and family support. Instead, the maintenance claim comes into play when it comes to securing the economic existence of the financially disadvantaged partner.

What types of maintenance are there?

The most crucial distinction is between separation and divorce maintenance because the requirements differ. In the case of post-marital maintenance, various types of care are defined by law. Here comes maintenance because of childcare, illness, an ailment, and unemployment, to increase for equity reasons.

How much is spousal maintenance calculated?

The adjusted net income is decisive for quantifying a maintenance claim. Based on the gross income, certain financial obligations of the maintenance debtor are deducted, for example, social security contributions, income taxes, work-related expenses of a certain amount, and possible marriage-related liabilities.

What is a shortage?

A deficiency occurs when a dependent partner cannot meet all dependent persons’ financial obligations. Establishing clear rules of the Australian Civil Code determines a ranking if there are several dependent persons. According to this, unmarried children of compulsory school age and children up to 21 who live with one of their parents and are in school are primarily entitled to maintenance.

Is a notary necessary?

Whether a notary is required to conclude such an agreement depends on the matters that are being regulated. Some things are strictly in need of form.

What is meant by post-marital maintenance?

If the divorce is final, the separation maintenance does not apply. Post-marital maintenance can take its place if the requirements for this are met.