Spousal Maintenance MDV Family Lawyers


What is spousal maintenance for?

Spousal maintenance adjusts for disparity between the incomes and earning capacities of the parties, based on their respective needs. Maintenance is usually paid for a relatively short period of time to enable the recipient to retrain, re-enter the workforce and/or generally re-establish himself or herself.

Do I have to have been married to make a claim for spousal maintenance?

No. The Family Law Act 1975 recognises entitlement to spousal maintenance irrespective of whether the parties were married or in a de facto relationship, and de facto relationships include same sex relationships.

What do I need to prove to be eligible?

If one party is unable to support themselves adequately, the other is liable to maintain them, as far as they are reasonably able to do so. You may need spousal maintenance if:

  1. Following separation you have the care and control of a child under 18 years;
  2. If your age or physical/mental incapacity makes employment difficult; or
  3. For any adequate reason.

The real question to be answered when determining your eligibility for spousal maintenance following the breakdown of a relationship is:

Can you, by reason of your earning capacity, capital or other sources of income, look after yourself without the assistance of the other party?

If the answer is no and the other party has the capacity to pay, then the court would consider making an order for spousal maintenance.

Need to talk or make an appointment?

If you would like to receive further advice on the topic of spousal maintenance, call us on 02 4421 7455, email [email protected] or book online now for an initial consultation with our Principal Solicitor.

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