Family Law

Spousal Maintenance

Unsure about spousal support or maintenance? We'll help.

Spousal maintenance is a payment made from one person to their former spouse to help them support themselves after a separation or divorce. It is different to child support and might be payable in addition to child support.

Under the Family Law Act, both spouses have a financial duty to one another, even when the relationship has ended.

Who is eligible for spousal maintenance?

You might be eligible to receive spousal maintenance if:

  • You have the need for financial support after a separation or divorce
  • Your ex-spouse has the capacity to provide that financial support

If you believe you might be entitled to spousal maintenance and would like to make an application, we can help with the process. Your application must be made within 12 months of the date of your divorce order being made by the courts. For de facto relationships, your application must be made within 2 years of the end of the relationship.

The court will then assess your circumstances and determine whether there are reasonable grounds for you to receive spousal maintenance.

Conversely, if your ex-spouse has applied for spousal maintenance and you do not believe it is reasonable for you to make these payments, we can help you fight against the application.

If you start a new relationship

If you are receiving spousal support and get re-married, you will not be entitled to maintenance payments unless the court orders otherwise.

If you start a new de facto relationship, the courts will assess whether or not you are able to support yourself financially, and will take your new relationship into consideration when making this decision.

Speak to us about the application process, how to file, and the options available to you.

We're here to help

To find out more about spousal maintenance and your rights, call (02) 8843 1343 or send a message via our contact page.