Spouse maintenance or spousal maintenance is the financial support that is paid to the other party following a divorce or separation. White Berman Barristers & Solicitors’ team of experienced family lawyers has been assisting clients with all their spouse maintenance matters since 1981.
Under the Family Law Act, one spouse may be legally required to maintain the other party. Spousal maintenance, however, is not an automatic process by any means and will only take place if a number of criteria have been met. Spouse maintenance often occurs where one party is the income earner and the other does not have access to an adequate means of support and requires assistance.
Who is Eligible for Spousal Maintenance?
A person may be eligible for spouse maintenance, depending upon the fulfilment of other criteria, if they have separated from a marriage or a de facto relationship.
Time Restrictions: Spousal Maintenance Applications
There is no need to wait until a divorce has been granted to make a spousal maintenance application. An application for spouse maintenance can be undertaken once separation occurs. If, however, divorce has already taken place, applications for spousal maintenance must take place within twelve months of when the divorce was obtained. In special cases, an application can be made after this time.
Eligibility & Requirements
In order to obtain spouse maintenance from another party, one party must beable to demonstrate they cannot adequately support themselves due to specific circumstances, such as: they are looking after a child or children or are incapacitated and too ill to work. Additionally, the party that is to pay the maintenance must be able to reasonably pay the maintenance, otherwise it will not be granted. The Court will use these criteria and factors to determine whether spouse maintenance has to be paid.
Amount & Payment
The amount to be received by a spouse maintenance application will depend upon individual circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all figure that is provided. Spousal maintenance can also be paid in regular payments or one lump sum, depending upon the wishes of the parties involved.
At White Berman Barristers & Solicitors, we have extensive experience in all family law matters, including spousal maintenance. Contact our offices, either at Adelaide or Modbury, to arrange a confidential discussion about your spousal maintenance matter today.