- Urgent Spousal Maintenance applications; and
- Spousal Maintenance.
At VM Family Law, our lawyers are experienced in representing and assisting clients with spousal maintenance or spousal support matters. Our family law specialists can assess your situation and let you know if spousal maintenance is relevant to your QLD de facto separation or divorce. When reaching a spouse maintenance order, it is important to be mindful that it will only be applicable on a short-term basis. If you need a spousal maintenance lawyer in the Ipswich and Greater Springfield, QLD areas, VM Family Law’s team of expert spousal maintenance lawyers are here to assist you and give you the best legal advice for your spousal maintenance situation. Chat to our team today!
Spousal Maintenance FAQ's
Spousal maintenance or spousal support is money paid from one partner to the other in order to support the receiving party financially through the divorce or de facto break up.
In order for spousal maintenance to be relevant to your separation, the receiving spouse must show that they have a need which they cannot meet (without access to public funds) and that you have the ability to financially support them alongside supporting yourself.
It is only used as a short term solution to keep one spouse afloat while the property settlement is being finalised and then a financial ‘clean break’ after the separation is advised by the Court.
Most people think of financial settlement after a divorce or separation as the division of property, possessions and other assets which is actually decided in a property settlement agreement.
Spousal maintenance is relevant to the difference of income between each spouse and has nothing to do with assets such as the family home or your material possessions.
Spousal support may be required to be paid from one spouse to the other in order to support them through the separation financially.
Bear in mind, spousal maintenance is completely separate from child support or child maintenance which is required to be paid in most family break ups.
Spousal maintenance is not always applicable to a divorce or separation, but is not affected by a couple having children or not.
Contrary to popular belief, spousal maintenance is not influenced by the gender of either spouse, but by the capacity each person has in order to work and earn their own income.
This is determined by considering factors such as age, health, parental responsibility and ability to work, just to name a few. Spouse maintenance orders are specific to each unique relationship and their circumstances and also take in account the difference in each spouse’s income.
The Court will also take into consideration any new marriage or de facto relationship you have entered into when financially qualifying you for spousal support or maintenance.
Seek the advice of one of our Ipswich spousal maintenance lawyers to find out if your situation qualifies for spousal maintenance or spousal support.
Because each spousal maintenance order is decided through such a range of factors and the wide discretion of the Court, it is hard to say exactly how much you would be required to pay or if your spouse qualifies at all.
Spousal maintenance payments can be ordered to be made weekly, fortnightly or monthly and in some instances, can be paid as a lump sum as part of a property settlement agreement.
If you are the one receiving the maintenance payments, you do not have to pay income tax on these payments. If you are the one paying the maintenance, you cannot claim a tax deduction on these payments either.
The duration of a spousal maintenance order is determined by each spouse’s individual circumstances and is reviewed if anything significantly changes.
Spousal maintenance or support is usually only as a short term solution to get your spouse through the interim period before your property agreement is finalised.
The end goal of this process is to ensure each couple has a ‘clean break’ and is no longer bound to each other financially.
Therefore, each spouse is expected to try and seek their own income after the property settlement agreement is finalised and independently support themselves financially after the separation.
The term alimony is thrown around a lot these days as it is something Australian’s have learnt from American television and movies.
While alimony does follow the same overall concept as child and spousal support, it is not a term used here in Australia.
What qualifies someone for spousal support here is different to what qualifies someone for alimony in the U.S., so ensure you are not getting any spousal maintenance ideas simply from watching American sitcoms.
Make sure you always seek the advice of a divorce or family lawyer to find out if your situation qualifies for spousal maintenance or spousal support.