How Spousal Maintenance Payments Are Worked Out: The Spousal Maintenance Calculator
- Under the Family Law Act (1975), the Court has, among other things, the power to order periodic payments and the transfer of property to one’s ex-partner for the purpose of spousal maintenance
- Spousal Maintenance is not automatic upon separation or divorce. An application for spousal maintenance and property must be made no longer than 12 months after a divorce order becomes final, but for a de facto relationship, within 2 years of the end of the relationship.
A court application will usually not be necessary unless the matter is urgent
Usually spousal maintenance is ordered on an interim basis before trial to enable parties to marriages or defacto relationships to provide financial support for that party until trial. It is usual for spousal maintenance to be subsumed within a property settlement determined by a family court judge or agreed by consent by the parties as consent orders as part of the financial settlement. One party will usually be the beneficiary of the order.
Orders to pay maintenance will usually be paid as a weekly payment rather than lump sum payments. Lump sum payments are usually only ordered when weekly payments have failed.
How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated in Australia?
- In granting a spousal maintenance order, the Court will consider the circumstances of the parties, with the objective of determining whether there is jurisdiction to grant an order, upon being satisfied that:
- the party seeking maintenance has a financial need and therefore requires financial support of the the party, and
- the other party has the capacity to pay for such need
The Spousal Maintenance Calculator: Factors to Consider
There are many factors which the court may consider when reviewing a spousal maintenance application include:
- the terms of any property settlement will be relevant as part of the determination as to whether there is spousal maintenance payable
- Whether the applicant has care or control of the child of the marriage who has not yet attained the age of 18
- The earning capacity of each party and capacity for gainful employment
- Each parties’ income, property and financial resources
- Whether there is a prospect of maintenance payments enhancing the recipient’s ability to earn an adequate income (through assisting the recipient in funding his/her education or relevant training)
- Whether the applicant is of advanced age and/or of poor health
- What are your reasonable expenses?
- the standard of living that is appropriate in the circumstances
- Do you have any financial resources you can rely upon
- Whether the party from which the applicant is seeking spousal maintenance from, is in an adequate financial position to provide the appropriate maintenance.
Who has the Obligation to pay Spousal Maintenance in Australia?
Spousal maintenance can be paid for by parties to marriages or de facto relationships.
How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last?
If there is a requirement to pay spousal maintenance, the question often is for how long? Spousal maintenance payments are often ordered for fixed periods of time to enable a party to retrain or overcome a health issue.
For parties at the commencement, during or at the completion of a marriage or a defacto relationship, you can enter into a binding financial agreement which precludes both parties applying for spousal maintenance in the future. Independent legal advice is required for each party to complete a binding financial agreement.
We would normally assess your overall family law property matter to understand your financial situation and thereby establish whether you or the other party is entitled to spousal maintenance and how to apply for spousal maintenance.
Having realistic expectations and someone to stand up for your rights, usually an experienced family lawyer, can make a big difference to either party when considering the issue of paying spousal maintenance. If you want a spousal maintenance lawyer in Melbourne to act on your behalf, it is important to seek legal advice. Contact Rowan Skinner and Associates Lawyers to book an initial consultation for him to advise on how is spousal maintenance calculated.
Also, if you would like to find out how much a family lawyer charges check out our latest article.
We are experienced family and divorce lawyers in Melbourne who are sensitive to our clients needs, and always fight for our client’s best outcome. Contact us today to discuss your spousal maintenance or family law property settlement matter.
Rowan Skinner is a highly skilled family lawyer with over 35 years of experience across various legal roles and jurisdictions. Rowan specialises in resolving family law disputes such as divorce, financial settlements, child custody and domestic violence cases. Through his diverse and extensive experience, Rowan has a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in family law. Rowan is a skilled negotiator and litigator who follows a compassionate and client-focused approach which prioritises helping you navigate what can be an emotional and challenging time.