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Working of Spousal Maintenance in Australia

People might ask “what is spousal maintenance?”, the answer is quite simple: it is financial assistance given by one ex-partner to the other if they are financially unstable. Spousal maintenance in Australia can also be paid by lump sum in lieu of spousal assets to be shared, such as boats or cars. There are two […]

Working of Spousal Maintenance in Australia

Working of Spousal Maintenance in Australia

By aylwardgame - Oct 10, 2022 Spousal Maintenance

People might ask “what is spousal maintenance?”, the answer is quite simple: it is financial assistance given by one ex-partner to the other if they are financially unstable. Spousal maintenance in Australia can also be paid by lump sum in lieu of spousal assets to be shared, such as boats or cars.

There are two types of spousal maintenance, the Family court and the Federal court deals with them. 

  1. Spouse maintenance: One person gives this financial support to his or her former husband/wife. Their previous partner gives them financial assistance. 
  2. De facto partner maintenance: If a couple is no longer in the de facto relationship, then one may give financial assistance to other partners. 

The family law Act 1975 states that a person is responsible for assisting the former de facto partner financially if he cannot meet his expenses. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00182

What are the Critical Factors in the Court’s Decisions:

Before making a decision, the court checks the applicant’s needs and the financial stability of the respondent. The following are essential factors for both persons:

  • Age and health
  • Yearly income, current property, and financial resources
  • Can the applicant work?
  • Standard of living
  • Has the marriage affected your financial status?
  • Are they supporting any other person? 
  • Do any of the parties have social security benefits?
  • How much one has contributed to the financial state of the other.
  • How much has the relationship affected the earnings of the applicant?
  • Are there any possibilities for child support payment?
  • Do the parties have any financial agreements between them?

You can see section 75(2) (married) and for de facto check 90SF (de facto) to know more.
(Source: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00182)

Can I have Spouse Maintenance if I was in a De facto Relationship?

If you were in a de facto relationship, and now you want to apply for spouse maintenance then give read to De facto property regime page it is on the Attorney-General’s website. You will know whether you are eligible for spousal support or not.
(Source: https://www.ag.gov.au/families-and-marriage/families/de-facto-property-regime)

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The law is different for people living in Western Australia. You should visit the website of the Family court of Western Australia. 

(Source: https://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/)

What is the Procedure for Spousal Maintenance?

It is good to have an agreement with your spouse before applying for spousal maintenance. If there is no agreement, then you can use the Federal Circuit Court. You will have to submit your income and expenses details in a financial statement when applying. The spouse will follow the procedure. 

If there is an urgent need for financial assistance, then the court may order immediate payment. 

Spousal Maintenance in Australia: Calculator

Every applicant has a question in mind “How much is spousal maintenance?”. Well, there is no fixed amount, but the court follows a procedure. We have tried to explain it below. 

The court will check the financial condition of the applicant and the capacity of the spousal, after that the court will make a judgment about the payable amount. There is no formula for calculating spousal maintenance.

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The court assumes the day-to-day expenses of the applicant and the respondent, and then it will be decided whether to pay the spousal support or not if it is payable then how much? 

If the applicant is responsible for taking care of the child or children below the school age, then the court will not ask you to work as the children will need full attention. But, once the children reach school age, you will need to work unless you do not have some other responsibilities. 

Will I receive Spousal Maintenance if I am in a New Relationship?

If you marry a new person, then you will not get spousal maintenance, unless ordered by the court. See section 82 for more information. (Source: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2019C00182)

If you are in a new de facto relationship, then the court will consider your financial status and of your new partner and will make an original decision according to that. 

When should I Apply?

The deadline for applying is different for both conditions. Suppose you were married and had a divorce. Then you should apply within 12 months from the date of the separation. In the case of a de facto relationship, there are two years for use

If you are unable to apply within time, you can have special permission from the court for use even after that time. But, you will not get this chance if you don’t have a valid reason for the late submission of the application.

Do I need to have a Lawyer for Spousal Maintenance?

You should contact experienced family lawyers when applying for spousal maintenance. 

There are many essential factors in a spousal order. Every case is different, and the conditions vary from person to person. The payable amount changes from case to case. It would help if you considered experienced family lawyers to understand your situation. 

If you are looking for spousal maintenance QLD, then Aylward Game Solicitors are your choice.

Protect Your Rights, Preserve Your Peace

Contact Our Accredited Family Law Specialists.

AGS

With the help of our lawyers, we can get you spousal maintenance in Australia. 

Conclusion:

Spousal maintenance is a part of property settlement in addition to child support. It is paid for a limited time until the other party is stable to afford the expenses. In some cases, it can be permanent. We can help you to get spousal maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What is spousal maintenance in Australia?

Spousal maintenance is a form of financial support paid by one spouse or de facto partner to the other following a separation or divorce. It is designed to provide assistance to a spouse who is unable to adequately support themselves financially, either temporarily or permanently.

Who is eligible for spousal maintenance in Australia?

To be eligible for spousal maintenance in Australia, you must be either married or in a de facto relationship that has ended. You must also be able to show that you are unable to meet your reasonable living expenses and that your former partner has the financial capacity to provide support. Factors such as the length of the relationship, the income and assets of each party, and any children involved will also be considered.

How is spousal maintenance calculated in Australia?

There is no set formula for calculating spousal maintenance in Australia, as each case is unique and must be assessed on its own merits. The amount and duration of the maintenance will depend on a range of factors, including the financial needs of the recipient, the paying party’s capacity to pay, and the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the relationship.

How long does spousal maintenance last in Australia?

The duration of spousal maintenance in Australia will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. In some cases, it may only be required for a short period of time, such as while the recipient completes education or training to improve their earning capacity. In other cases, it may be necessary for a longer period, particularly if the recipient is unable to work due to illness or disability.

Can spousal maintenance be varied or terminated in Australia?

Yes, spousal maintenance can be varied or terminated in Australia if there is a significant change in circumstances. For example, if the recipient begins earning a higher income or enters into a new relationship, the paying party may be able to apply to reduce or terminate the maintenance payments. Similarly, if the recipient’s financial needs increase due to unforeseen circumstances, they may be able to apply to have the payments increased.

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