What is spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is financial support paid by a person to their former partner or spouse after the breakdown of their relationship.

Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

You are entitled to spousal support only if you are unable to adequately support yourself. This could include reasons such as:

  • Needing to care for a child of the relationship
  • Being unable to work due to physical or mental incapacities
  • Any other adequate reason

Spousal maintenance also applies to de facto relationships.

How is spousal maintenance calculated?

There is no concrete formula to determine how much spousal maintenance is granted. The Court considers a wide range of factors, including:

  • Age and health
  • Income and assets
  • Physical and mental capacities
  • Any responsibilities to support another party
  • A standard of living that is reasonable in all circumstances

After considering the relevant facts, the Court makes a discretionary decision on the amount to be paid.

When must I apply for spousal maintenance?

For married couples, the application must be made within 12 months of the date of divorce.

For couples in a de facto relationship, the application must be made within 2 years of the end of the relationship.

If the application has exceeded the time frame, special permission must be sought from the Court.

How many years do I have to be in a relationship to get spousal maintenance?

As long as you were in a marriage or de facto relationship, and are entitled to spousal maintenance based on the above reasons, the duration of the relationship does not matter.

Am I still entitled to spousal maintenance if I remarry?

You are not entitled to spousal maintenance if you remarry, unless the Court allows it. The Court considers the financial support from your new spouse in determining whether you can adequately support yourself.

Interestingly, if you enter into a de facto relationship but do not remarry, you may still be entitled to spousal maintenance depending on the circumstances.


How can I avoid paying spousal maintenance?

If the Court orders you to pay spousal maintenance, you cannot avoid doing so. However, the order is typically only for a limited period of time until the other party is restored to a financially independent state.

During the period of the order, you may apply to either discharge or vary the order if there is a just cause.

Examples of a just cause include:

  • If you have gone bankrupt
  • If the other party has re-partnered with a person who can financially support them
  • If material facts were withheld from the Court when the order was made, or evidence previously given to the Court were false

Alternatively, if a party to the spousal maintenance order dies, the order ends.

What is spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is financial support paid by a person to their former partner or spouse after the breakdown of their relationship.

Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

You are entitled to spousal support only if you are unable to adequately support yourself. This could include reasons such as:

  • Needing to care for a child of the relationship
  • Being unable to work due to physical or mental incapacities
  • Any other adequate reason

Spousal maintenance also applies to de facto relationships.

How is spousal maintenance calculated?

There is no concrete formula to determine how much spousal maintenance is granted. The Court considers a wide range of factors, including:

  • Age and health
  • Income and assets
  • Physical and mental capacities
  • Any responsibilities to support another party
  • A standard of living that is reasonable in all circumstances

After considering the relevant facts, the Court makes a discretionary decision on the amount to be paid.

When must I apply for spousal maintenance?

For married couples, the application must be made within 12 months of the date of divorce.

For couples in a de facto relationship, the application must be made within 2 years of the end of the relationship.

If the application has exceeded the time frame, special permission must be sought from the Court.

How many years do I have to be in a relationship to get spousal maintenance?

As long as you were in a marriage or de facto relationship, and are entitled to spousal maintenance based on the above reasons, the duration of the relationship does not matter.

Am I still entitled to spousal maintenance if I remarry?

You are not entitled to spousal maintenance if you remarry, unless the Court allows it. The Court considers the financial support from your new spouse in determining whether you can adequately support yourself.

Interestingly, if you enter into a de facto relationship but do not remarry, you may still be entitled to spousal maintenance depending on the circumstances.


How can I avoid paying spousal maintenance?

If the Court orders you to pay spousal maintenance, you cannot avoid doing so. However, the order is typically only for a limited period of time until the other party is restored to a financially independent state.

During the period of the order, you may apply to either discharge or vary the order if there is a just cause.

Examples of a just cause include:

  • If you have gone bankrupt
  • If the other party has re-partnered with a person who can financially support them
  • If material facts were withheld from the Court when the order was made, or evidence previously given to the Court were false

Alternatively, if a party to the spousal maintenance order dies, the order ends.

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