If your former partner is struggling financially or finding it difficult to adequately to provide for themselves, then they may make a claim for spousal maintenance. So, what exactly is spousal maintenance? And do you have to support your former spouse financially after you separate?
Well, when your partner makes a claim for spousal maintenance and is successful in doing so, they will receive financial support payments by you as an order from the court. The court will assist them adequately providing for themselves after marriage separation. The purpose of these payments is aid your ex-partner financially get back on track following your separation.
Of course, the likelihood of success of your parents claim will all depend on your unique situation which is reflected in Section 75 of the Family Law Act (1975) discussed below. If your ex partner is successful in their claim for spousal maintenance, the court may make the following orders:
- For you to make regular payments to your ex partner.
- For certain items, including the home of the marriage, to be sold and have the proceeds of the sale to be provided to your ex partner.
When Spousal Maintenance May Be Applicable?
- When you have the financial means to support your former spouse.
- Spousal Maintenance must be awarded within 12 months of the divorce subject to section 44(3) of the Family Law Act 1975.
- Unlike divorce orders, agreeing on the exact date of separation in a de facto relationship may be difficult. Where parties disagree, the Family Court will consider evidence may available by the parties, including photos, witness statements, financial documents etc.
- financial support while pursuing education.
- financial support while seeking employment
- The age and health state of each parties
- Their income, property, and financial resources
- Their physical and mental capacity to obtain employment.
- Whether either party has the care or control of a child of the marriage under the age of 18
- Any commitments of each of the parties necessary to enable the party to support themselves, a child, or another person.
- The responsibilities of either party to support any other person.
- The eligibility of either party for a pension, allowance or benefit under the commonwealth, state, territory another country
- Any superannuation fund or scheme within or outside Australia
- To maintain a standard of living that is reasonable in the circumstances.
- The extent to which the payment of maintenance can aid the party to establish themselves by undertaking further education, employment, or training to obtain a sufficient income.
- The effect that a spousal maintenance order will have on the ability of either party to pay debts.
- The extent to which the party who will be receiving the maintenance has contributed to the income, earning capacity, property, and financial resources of the other party.
- The duration of the marriage, and the extent this has affected the earning capacity of the party to receive the maintenance.
- To enable a party to continue their role as a parent.
- Whether either party is cohabitating with another and the financial circumstances relating to that cohabitation
- Any child support that party to the marriage provided, provides or may be liable to provide in the future for a child of the marriage.
- Anything else the court may wish to take into consideration.
- Terms of any binding financial agreement on the parties to the marriage
- The terms of any order made under section 79; relating to:
The property of the parties or vested bankruptcy property in relation to a bankrupt party; and
- The terms of any order or declaration made, or proposed to be made in relation to either:
- A party to the marriage
- A person who is a party to a de facto relationship with a party to the marriage
the property of a person covered by either 1 or 2.
vested bankruptcy property in relation to a person covered by either 1 or 2.
What is a “Limitation Period” and Why Does it Exist?
Just like any area of the law, in family law matters, time is of the essence. The Family Law Act 1975 imposes time limits for when proceedings for property division and spousal maintenance applications must be filed by. It is important to remember that once the time limit has expired, your ex partner will be prevented from starting a claim (unless there are substantiated reasons for why a claim is being filed out of time).
Not only do limitation periods serve as a reminder to seek legal advice promptly, but they assist in maintaining the proper administration of justice and court proceedings. For instance, major delays may severely impact both the accuracy and availability of evidence. Further, parties should be able to comfortably conclude that a matter is at an end once a certain period of time has elapsed.
In the context of family law matters, there are a few limitation periods to be aware of. These are mentioned in detail below.
Hire the Best Lawyers for your Family Law Case Today
If you are seeking help with your proceedings for property division and spousal maintenance applications, it’s time to find a reliable and experienced family law lawyer.
Here at JB Solicitors, we will make the process as pain-free as possible. We provide detailed Costs Agreements, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start and will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves in making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
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