Spousal Maintenance

What are your rights and obligations?

Spousal Maintenance Payments

Spousal maintenance is payments made by one partner to a former spouse or de facto partner to assist with their reasonable living expenses. They can include regular payments of cash, or in-kind payments such as rent or mortgage repayments, gas, electricity and water costs, rates, telephone and internet expenses, credit card and personal loan repayments, and motor vehicle costs and insurances etc. In some circumstances spousal maintenance is paid in a lump sum as part of a property settlement.

Your rights and obligations for payment of spousal maintenance are in addition to your rights and obligations for payment of child support. However, child support is taken into account when determining whether spousal maintenance should be paid and when calculating the amount to be paid.

When are payments made?

Spousal maintenance is commonly paid prior to a formal property settlement taking place where one party requires financial support. However, in some circumstances, spousal maintenance can also be paid after a property settlement occurring. Clancy & Triado are able to expertly advise you on your spousal maintenance entitlement or obligation including advice as to how to structure your property settlement to affect whether maintenance is paid in the post settlement period.

Are there limitations on time?

For married couples, the date of divorce affects the right to apply for spousal maintenance. For a de facto relationship, the date of separation affects the right to apply for maintenance. We strongly recommend you obtain advice from an experienced lawyer before separation and before applying for a divorce.