Spousal maintenance can be payable if one party has a need for spousal maintenance (ie. that person’s reasonable expenses are greater than their income) and the other party has the capacity to pay (ie. that person’s income exceeds their reasonable expenses). The age and health of the parties as well as their income, property, financial resources and ability to work will be taken into account in any application for spousal maintenance.
Consideration will be given to what is a reasonable standard of living, and what are reasonable living expenses, in the particular circumstances of the parties. Factors such as, whether either party’s ability to earn an income has been affected by the relationship (eg due to spending time out of the work force to care for children) will also be considered.
An application for spousal maintenance can be made up to twelve (12) months after a Divorce Order becomes final if you were married, or up to two (2) years after the breakdown of a de facto relationship. Parties can however enter into a Binding Financial Agreement which extinguishes either party’s claim for spousal maintenance at any time. A party who has remarried is not entitled to make an application for spousal maintenance. If a party has entered into a new de facto relationship, the financial relationship between that party and their new de facto partner will be considered as part of any application for spousal maintenance.
If you would like more information in relation to making an Application for Spousal Maintenance or entering into a Binding Financial Agreement in order to protect yourself from a spousal maintenance claim, please do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange an initial consultation.