Apply for spousal maintenance or resist it.
Either way, we can help.
Spousal maintenance refers to payments made by one partner/spouse
to assist the other partner/spouse with meeting the costs of living.
Spousal maintenance is different from child support, as the latter
relates to payments made for the maintenance of children.
Am I entitled to spousal maintenance?
There is no automatic entitlement to spousal maintenance. A party can apply for spousal maintenance within 12 months of the date of a divorce. In the case of a de facto relationship, the application must be made within two years from the date of separation. If these deadlines have passed, an application for spousal maintenance can only be made if leave (or permission) is granted by the Court.
To successfully seek spousal maintenance, the Court must be satisfied that the person applying for spousal maintenance has a need for financial support, and also that the other partner/spouse has a capacity to pay.
How does spousal maintenance work?
Spousal maintenance can take the form of regular payments over a certain period of time or in-kind payments such as a mortgage or car loan payments. Sometimes spousal maintenance is paid as a once-off lump sum.
We can advise you about possible spousal maintenance entitlements or obligations you may have. We can also advise you about the prospects of an application to seek spousal maintenance if the deadline has passed.
Can spousal maintenance be payable after a de facto relationship?
From March 2009, de facto relationships were brought into the same family law property regime as married couples. Parties to an eligible de facto relationship which has broken down can apply to the family law courts for a property division and/or spousal maintenance in the same way as married couples.
Speak to a lawyer.
An Accredited Specialist family lawyer can advise you on your spousal maintenance entitlements or obligations.
Where can I find more information?View Options
Family Law Courts of Australia website
The Family Law Courts of Australia website includes answers to some commonly asked questions about spousal maintenance. It also details the criteria the court will consider when making a decision?Learn more about spousal maintenance
Finally, our online tool can help
If you are considering applying for spousal maintenance or resisting an order, completing our free and confidential online tool can assist our lawyers with providing you considered, preliminary help.Try our free online form
Resources & FAQs
Answers to common questions in
relation to the expertise.
It is rare that a court will order no contact between a parent and child, however greater weight will be placed on the need to protect a child from physical or psychological harm, over having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
When and how spousal maintenance is payable depends on the particular financial circumstances of the parties involved, as Adele Katzew explains.
Commencing today (29 April 2020) the Australian Family Courts have established a court list dedicated to deal exclusively with urgent parenting-related disputes that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.