Project Description

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance

When you get married, you agree to look after each other not only emotionally but also financially. The obligation to maintain each other financially is a legal one. So when your marriage ends, you may be required to pay spousal maintenance or be eligible to receive maintenance. You can apply to receive maintenance as soon as you separate or anytime during the divorce process.

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    If you think you may be eligible to receive or be required to pay maintenance, it’s important to get advice from an Accredited Specialist in Family Law. John Odisho Putrus is the only Fairfield Family Law Accredited Specialist. This means he has passed a series of detailed tests about family law and is up to date with changes in this area. He also has a Masters degree in Family Law. John and his team of specialist divorce lawyers can help you:

    • Understand what your rights are.
    • Put together or defend an application for maintenance.
    • Determine the best way to structure your maintenance payments.
    • Put together or defend an application to change your maintenance payments.
    • Represent you if there is a dispute about your maintenance payments.

    Maintenance Payments

    Maintenance may be paid if:

    • You are not able to support yourself financially; and
    • You are not able to support yourself financially; and

    When deciding how much maintenance you should be paid the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will consider several things including:

    • How old you are.
    • Whether you are able to work.
    • Whether you are caring for children who are under 18 years old.
    • How much income both you and your ex-partner are capable of earning. This doesn’t include any pension that you receive from Centrelink. If your only income is a Centrelink pension then the Court will assume you have no income.
    • Whether you have any health issues that may affect your ability to work.
    • What is a reasonable standard of living for both you and your ex-partner given your personal circumstances.

    If you must pay maintenance or are eligible to receive maintenance, it’s important to know that it may not continue for the rest of your life. Maintenance orders can be limited to a specific period of time, like until your children are old enough to go to school and you can go back to work or until you finish studying. Maintenance orders can also be changed if you or your ex-partner has a change in their financial or personal situation.

    Maintenance can be paid either as a lump sum or in monthly payments. Many couples prefer to pay maintenance in a lump sum because it gives them certainty over how much money they must pay or will receive. It may also help you close this chapter in your life and move on.

    De Facto Relationships

    Even if you aren’t married, you may still be eligible for maintenance payments. This is because de facto relationships are also included in the Family Law Act and cover all states and territories in Australia except Western Australia. This means that you may be eligible for maintenance when your relationship ends. This also covers same sex relationships.

    If you’re from Western Australia, the law is different and we’d suggest you speak to someone who specialises in family law in that State.


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