Spousal Maintenance

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Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance refers to financial support that is paid by one party of a couple to their ex-partner. It can be used by either married or defacto couples.

To what extent is spousal maintenance owed?

Spousal or defacto maintenance is mandated by the Family Law Act 1975, where an ex-partner has a responsibility to care for an ex-partner in situations where they are unable to cover their own reasonable expenses through their own income or assets.

The obligation is owed to the extent that the other party can afford it.

Our lawyers can help determine party’s eligibility for spousal maintenance, and can deal with these issues as they arise in family law settlements, for either party.

What does the Family Court consider?

The Family Court will take into consideration the needs of the applicant, and the other side’s ability to pay.

The Court will take into account the following factors:

  • What defines an adequate standard of living
  • Whether the marriage or defacto arrangement affected the ability of one party to earn a living
  • Which partner will have primary care of children
  • A partner’s ability to work
  • Age
  • Health status
  • Whether the partner has entered into a new relationship


To initiate the process, please reach out to us using either our contact form or by making a phone call. Our team is friendly and approachable, and we aim to respond to your inquiry within one hour during business hours.

After this, we'll schedule a brief 5 to 20-minute conversation with you to gain an initial understanding of your situation, your objectives, and how we can potentially assist you. If we determine that we can help, we'll schedule an initial consultation and commence work on your case. Prior to starting, we'll thoroughly explain the process and set clear expectations to ensure both parties are aligned and striving for the best possible outcome for you.

Effective communication is a fundamental value at Movement Legal. We will keep you informed as your case progresses through various stages and promptly respond to any emails or calls you send our way.

No, it's not necessary for you to come in person. We are fully equipped to conduct meetings with you through phone, WhatsApp, Zoom, or Google Meet.

Yes - we can help determine whether spousal maintenance is likely to be an issue in your family law matter. And if so, what amount you can reasonably expect to pay (or to receive). This will be determined by a range of factors unique to the relationship including age, health, income, and so on. We'll help you understand what's going on so you can make educated decisions regarding your family law matter.

Yes, spousal maintenance applies to de facto relationships just as it does to marriages. Sometimes it is referred to as de facto partner maintenance in this context.

While it is not always guaranteed that spousal maintenance will have to be paid after the end of a de facto relationship, they are treated like marriages and will go through the same process to determine whether spousal maintenance is likely to be included into the property settlement.

The Court can only make a de facto maintenance order if your de facto relationship meets certain jurisdictional requirements. Our family lawyers can help you understand these requirements and how they will affect you.

It depends on the facts of each case. Spousal maintenance may be payable for a period of time if there is an inequality between the incomes or earning capacity of both parties after divorce. If you have limited financial resources and your wife has sufficient income, it may be ordered that spousal maintenance be paid to ensure that both parties can sustain a similar lifestyle to pre-separation.

Spousal maintenance is usually defined as being owed for the duration of a set period of time. This will be determined by facts unique to the relationship and their financial and lifestyle needs.

When it comes to spousal maintenance payments, there are several options available. You could make regular payments on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, or alternatively, you may opt for one lump sum payment.

Additionally, certain expenses such as accommodation costs, loan repayments and health insurance may need to be covered under spousal maintenance if necessary.

Spousal maintenance is calculated based on the parties' income, financial resources, and reasonable living expenses. The court takes into account factors such as age, health, ability to earn an income, care of children, duration of the relationship, contributions made during the relationship, and any other obligations of either party to support the other. Spousal maintenance orders can be for a fixed sum or for periodic payments.

There are calculators available online that will allow you to calculate an estimate of what you can expect to be paid or pay depending on your situation. While they will not be able to reveal the exact amount, they're a good tool for planning ahead and preparing yourself for any outcome.


Why Movement Legal?

Family law specialists

Our lawyers are family law specialists, and deal with these and related legal issues daily.We can help you with any aspect of family law - including advice around divorce and separation, child custody, property and financial arrangements, financial agreements, and more.

Cost Certainty

Movement Legal guarantees transparency and clarity around legal costs for your case. We strive to offer fixed fees whenever possible rather than charging by hour, making pricing clear.

Fast turn around times

We prioritise prompt and clear communication with our clients to ensure maximum efficiency. We will respond quickly with clear directions on how to help you with your case.We will get back to you quickly with a clear description of how we can assist you and your case. Our top priority is providing satisfactory communication so you can receive the most efficient service possible.

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