When a marriage or a de facto relationship ends, the court might order one of the parties to help financially maintain the other. This is also known as spousal maintenance. It is up to the family court to decide when and how a party would be ordered to financial assist a former partner or a spouse. This usually happens when one of the parties is unable to maintain their financial situation after the annulment of the partnership or the marriage.
The amount to be paid depend upon the current financial situation of the person who has been ordered to pay the support money and also on the needs of the person who is to be paid the spousal maintenance.
What you should know about spousal maintenance
It is only in the power of the family court to order spousal support. It is only ordered when it is felt that one of the partners is unable to meet their financial needs due to the annulment of the marriage or the relationship.
Things like future income and current capital assets of both the parties is considered. At the cessation of the relationship all assets are distributed according to what the court might deem fair. It is common for one of the parties to provide ongoing financial support to the other party.
The person is supposed to pay the support money till the time their dependent becomes financially independent and at times until their death.
In case of individuals who have been in de facto relationships the application for spousal support should be made within the two years of cessation of the partnership.
Some people have a common misconception that spousal support is somewhat same as child support. It should be kept in mind that there is a difference between the two. Child support is given for the wellbeing of the children from the previous relationship. While spousal support is given, regardless of the absence of children.
When the supported party enters into a new relationship, they are no longer entitled to spousal maintenance. It is up to the court to decide whether the current financial situation of the supported party has changed and whether the support should be maintained or cut off.
What factors are taken into consideration for spousal support?
It should be kept in mind that getting spousal support doesn’t have to be a person’s right. It is only up to the court to decide whether a person is entitled to it or not. The following factors are taken into consideration:
- The age of both the parties
- The current health status
- Current income and financial standing
- The ability to work and how long they would be able to perform their duties without it impacting their health and well being
Spousal maintenance becomes mandatory when one of the parties has no source of income to support themselves.
The payments can be made on a periodic as well as regular payments. If you feel you are entitled to spousal maintenance, make sure you talk to specialised lawyers in Gold Coast today.