After a separation, one of the main concerns clients have is how they will be able to financially support themselves. Spousal maintenance is financial support paid by a husband or wife to their former husband or wife and is additional to any payment for child support. It is available to parties to a marriage or a de facto relationship (from 1 March 2009).
Two requirements must be satisfied in order to obtain an order form the court for spousal maintenance:
- The husband or wife cannot support himself or herself adequately because of having to care for a child of the marriage under 18 years, or because of age or physical or mental incapacity; and
- The other spouse has the capacity to pay spousal maintenance from their own income or financial resources.
An application to the court for spousal maintenance may be for urgent, interim or final orders.
Strict time limits apply to bringing an application to the court for spousal maintenance, so it is important to seek legal advice without delay.
If you re-marry or enter into a new de facto relationship, your eligibility to spousal maintenance is likely to be affected.