Spousal maintenance Spousal maintenance

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Spousal maintenance

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Spousal maintenance is when one spouse financially supports their former dependent spouse because they are unable to meet their own financial commitments following separation. Under the Family Law Act 1975, a spouse has the responsibility of financially assisting their former spouse, if he or she cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their personal income or assets.
 
There is no automatic entitlement to spousal maintenance. An application for spousal maintenance must be made within 12 months of a divorce becoming final. Both married or de facto couples may make an application for spousal maintenance.

When considering a spousal maintenance application, the court takes into account the reasonable needs of the applicant spouse, and the other spouse's capacity to pay. The court also considers various other factors including which spouse the child/children reside with, the age and health of the parties, the income and property of the parties, whether the marriage has affected a spouse's ability to earn income, etc.
 
The entitlement to spousal maintenance ceases upon a dependent spouse remarrying or if a dependent spouse enters into a de facto relationship. The court will consider this in assessing whether that party is able to adequately support themselves.
 
Our team of family lawyers in Brisbane and Melbourne can assist you with a spousal maintenance application.