Spousal Maintenance Lawyers Melbourne

Spousal Maintenance Lawyers

Advice to assist you in making or defending a claim for spousal maintenance.

Spousal maintenance, also referred to as spousal support, can be confusing and leaves many people wondering if they or their spouse or de facto partner are eligible to make a claim.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, spousal maintenance is when one party pays the other to meet their financial requirements after the breakdown of the marriage or de facto relationship.

The payment doesn’t take into account the financial needs of any children of the relationship, that’s covered by child support and adult-child maintenance.

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    How Can a Family Lawyer Help?

    Our Melbourne family lawyers can assist you in:

    • Providing advice on your eligibility for spousal maintenance based on the income and expenses of both parties
    • Providing advice on the other party’s entitlement to spousal maintenance
    • Making a spousal maintenance claim to help you obtain spousal maintenance
    • Resisting a spousal maintenance claim

    To be successful in gaining a spousal maintenance claim, certain criteria need to be met and the claim must be made within time limits.

    Spousal maintenance may be paid as a one-off, lump-sum payment or as periodic payments. The appropriate support for the receiving party depends on many factors. If you have separated from your marriage or de facto relationship, it’s essential to seek legal advice early so you have the information you need to make informed decisions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Does The Court Consider When Making a Decision on Spousal Maintenance?

    The Court considers a range of factors when making a decision. They will consider both the needs of the party making the claim and the other party’s ability to pay spousal maintenance.

    Under the Family Law Act, the Court will consider the following factors:

    • Age and health
    • Income, property and financial assets
    • Ability to work
    • If the marriage has affected your ability to earn income or earning capacity

    How Does the Court Calculate Spousal Maintenance?

    The Court will assess both parties individual circumstances, including their incomes, property and financial resources and liabilities in determining what one party can pay the other party.

    If it is found that there is a significant difference in financial circumstances, the Court will consider the reasons i.e. staying at home to care for children. The amount paid will depend on what the respondent can afford to pay.

    In Which Situation Would You Claim Spousal Support?

    For example, one spouse may have been reliant on the income of the other due to health reasons or being out of the workforce for several years. So following a separation or divorce, if they cannot meet their expenses from their own income or assets, they may make a claim for spousal support.

    However, even if one ex-partner is unable to adequately support themselves, the other person can only be made to pay maintenance if they are financially able to do so.

    Can I Claim For Spousal Maintenance If We Are Not Married?

    If you are in a de facto relationship, you can still apply for spousal support if you meet certain requirements.

    Do I Still Receive Spousal Maintenance if I Start a New Relationship?

    Under the Family Law Act, you are not entitled to maintenance if you marry another person unless the Court orders otherwise. However, if you are in a new de facto relationship the Court will take into account your financial situation with your new partner, and whether you are able to support yourself adequately.

    Do I Have to Go to Court to Claim for Spousal Maintenance?

    Parties are not required to go to Court to reach an agreement for spousal maintenance. If both parties can agree, spousal maintenance agreements can be made via binding financial agreements or consent orders.

    If you want to know what your options are contact our accredited family law specialists.

    Does Property Settlement Include Spousal Maintenance?

    Property settlements and spousal maintenance are separate family law matters, but spousal maintenance can be negotiated when working through the property settlement.

    It is important to get legal advice from a spousal maintenance lawyer. In the instance that you and your former spouse can agree, we can assist in creating a binding financial agreement. Or if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, we can assist with applying to the Court for spousal maintenance orders, as well as property and parenting orders so everything can be resolved as soon as possible.

    Do Spousal Maintenance Payments Cover the Cost of Children?

    Child support payments do not make up part of spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is the financial support for an adult, whereas child support is the financial support of a child.

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