Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance or De-Facto Maintenance (“hereafter referred to as maintenance”) is financial support, usually paid on a periodic basis, by one party to the marriage or one party to the de-facto relationship, to the other.

Australian law provides that a person to a marriage or de-facto relationship has a responsibility to financially assist the other, if that person cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their own personal income or assets and the other person has the capacity to provide the necessary and reasonable support.

There are a number of factors which the Court will consider in any maintenance application. These are:

  • whether one party is unable to adequately support themselves.
  • whether the other party has the capacity to provide that financial support.
  • whether the financial support is proper in all the circumstances.

There are time limits which apply if you wish to make an application seeking maintenance. If you were married, an application for maintenance must be made within 12 months from your divorce. If you were in a de-facto relationship, an application for maintenance must be made within 2 years of the de-facto relationship ending.

Family law is a discretionary area of law which means in any application there are a range of outcomes depending on the particular circumstances of your case.