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Spousal Maintenance


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

Peter Magee

Spousal Maintenance is defined in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) as financial support paid by a Husband or Wife to their former Husband or Wife.

The test in relation to Spousal Maintenance is set out in Section 72 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), and is twofold:

  • Firstly – the Husband or Wife cannot support himself or herself to an adequate standard from their own income or financial resources; and
  • Secondly – the other party has the capacity to pay Spousal Maintenance to the Husband or Wife from their own income or financial resources.

The Court must be satisfied of both elements in order to make an Order for spousal maintenance.

DO I HAVE TO PAY SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE IF I AM NOT MARRIED?

Spousal Maintenance can also be payable for parties to a Defacto relationship.

WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER WHEN MAKING AN ORDER FOR SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE?

The Court considers the factors set out in Section 75 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) when assessing whether it is appropriate for an Order for Spousal Maintenance to be made. Some of those factors include:

  • The age and state of health of the parties;
  • The income and financial resources of the parties;
  • Whether a party has the care of a child of the marriage/Defacto relationship;
  • Any responsibilities of the party to support any other person.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE?

Yes, the Court can make Orders for urgent, interim or final Spousal Maintenance.

WHAT IS AN URGENT SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE ORDER?

The Court can make an urgent Order to alleviate the financial hardship suffered by one party where the Court has found that the party seeking the Order is in need of immediate financial assistance from the other party. Usually, the Respondent has not provided evidence to the Court of their financial circumstances by way of Financial Statement. This is done in accordance with Section 77A of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

WHAT IS AN INTERIM SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE ORDER?

The Court can make an Interim Order (until a further or Final Order) for Spousal Maintenance after both parties have had the opportunity to provide evidence by way of Affidavit and Financial Statement to the Court and the Court has assessed that it is appropriate for one party to pay Spousal Maintenance during the interim period.

WHAT IS A FINAL SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE ORDER?

The Court can make a Final Order for Spousal Maintenance upon the finalisation of the matter which will extend for a certain period of time, for example 12 months or 24 months. The amount specified in the Court Order will be payable until the specified time.

WHAT EVIDENCE DO I NEED TO PROVIDE TO THE COURT?

You will need to file an Application seeking out the amount of Spousal Maintenance you require your former partner to pay, a Financial Statement setting out your financial circumstances and an Affidavit in support of your Application and Financial Statement. You will also need to provide financial disclosure to the other party evidencing your financial position set out in your Financial Statement.




where to next?

If you have any questions regarding family law, we invite you to telephone Armstrong Legal’s experienced, knowledgeable and approachable Family Lawyers. We look forward to discussing your family law questions with you and can also help you arrange a no obligation initial consultation at our office so that we can meet you in person and discuss your case in greater detail. Our office is conveniently located in Melbourne CBD at Level 13, 575 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

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