Spousal maintenance is the financial support that one party may be required to pay to the other after their relationship breaks down.
The Family Court has power to order one party to pay spousal maintenance to the other party if and only if:
- One person is unable to support themselves adequately; and
- The other person is reasonably able to provide such support.
There are many reasons as to why a person may not be able to support themselves after separation. These include being unable to work due to age, ill health, lack of skills or commitment to care for a child of the relationship or marriage who is under 18 years of age.
It is important to note that spousal maintenance is not child support. The Family Court can make orders for the payment of spousal maintenance in addition to any child support that is already required to be paid.
The obligation to pay spousal maintenance survives divorce and specific time limits apply.
This is a very complex area of law and each case will vary. Your circumstances will be different to those of anyone else going through a marriage or de facto relationship breakdown. Before you apply for spousal maintenance seek the advice of a professional.
If you need to speak to a family lawyer in Perth about spousal maintenance, please contact our office on 9355 0776 and talk to one of our experienced solicitors.