Financial support after a divorce or separation

You or your partner may be entitled to financial support after a divorce or separation

You have decided to separate or divorce. As a result of your separation, either you or your partner is struggling financially and cannot support themselves and need financial support. Ideally you would come to an amicable agreement, about what we call in Australian family law ‘spousal maintenance’. It is alimony.

The reason why you must pay or want to receive spousal maintenance may include: a long time out of paid working resulting in a lack of work skills, the need to care for the children, health issues, a lack of local employment opportunities.

In these and other situations, you or your partner may apply for spousal maintenance.

There is a time limit to apply for spousal maintenance. Your application must occur within 12 months of a divorce being made final or within two years of a separation of a defacto relationship. Outside of these defined periods, you’ll need special permission from the court. This permission is not automatically granted.

If you are ready for practical, down to earth advice, contact us to arrange an initial consultation.

Do you need financial support?

Spousal maintenance is usually paid for brief period to get the person back on their feet, to transition to their single life. This could enable you or your partner time to reskill, re-establish yourselves or find employment.

Work through the process

Capacity needs to be determined. That is, does the payer, be it you or your ex-partner have the capacity to self-support and the ability to support the other partner?

Some factors come into account when making this spousal maintenance decision. These include but are not limited to:

The court will take into account the payer’s living expenses and other financial commitments and balance it against the costs necessary to live.

There are no guarantees that you or your partner will get what you want. What you think is fair and reasonable may not be achieved. The Court has the discretion to decide what the amount will be in each spousal maintenance case.

Sometimes the cost and time it can take applying for maintenance outweighs the benefits.

Right now you probably have countless questions and arguments running through your head. That’s understandable.

Would you benefit from talking to Jane Guerin to resolve your most immediate questions? Jane will review your situation and give you the practical advice you need right now.

The answer will help determine the best course of action for you and your children.

Want to talk?

Our focus is on providing straightforward legal advice to our clients. We spend the time to understand your situation and determine your desired outcomes.

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