What is spousal maintenance and do I need to think about it?

If you’re going through or thinking about going through a divorce or de facto relationship break up then you need to make sure that you’re aware of spousal maintenance. In some cases, one partner may have to pay spousal maintenance to their ex, even after the separation is finalized.

If you’re not sure what spousal maintenance is and why you need to be aware of it then you should speak to your local family lawyer for more information. This article will give you a brief overview, but shouldn’t be taken as professional information.

What is spousal maintenance?

If a couple’s separation leads to a situation where one one party can’t support themselves financially then the other party may be required to pay some form of spousal maintenance.

Situations like this usually arise when only one partner in the couple worked while they were together – for example, where one partner worked and the other looked after children.

Spousal maintenance comes in two forms: lump sum payments and regular periodic payments. You may be told to pay either, depending on your situation.

It’s also important to note that spousal maintenance and child support are two different things and that both can have to be paid.

When am I entitled to spousal maintenance?

It can be difficult to prove that you should be getting spousal maintenance. Generally, your claims will only be approved if you can genuinely prove that you can’t support yourself with your current income or savings, even though you’re trying.

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Parenting and divorce – 5 things you need to be aware of

Divorce can be an extremely difficult thing to go through, especially if you have children with the partner that you’re separating from. A decent family lawyer can help you deal with the legal side of your divorce, but it’s important to make sure that you’re familiar with the things that you have to do.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a short list some of the most important things that you need to be aware of if you’re a parent going through a divorce. They include:

  1. Be aware of your kids and what they’re going through

Divorce isn’t only hard for you and your soon to be ex partner. Your children will probably suffer as well. They might be anxious, stressed out and worried about what’s going to happen to them – particularly if they aren’t old enough to really understand what’s happening.

You can make things easy for your kids by thinking of their needs at all times. Try not to argue around them, and if possible, try and come to a mutual agreement with your former partner about things like rules and co-parenting.  

  1. Consider custody agreements

If you and your former partner really don’t get on well, or if you’re separating because of an abusive relationship, you should consider fighting for custody of your children. By doing this you can make sure that they’re going to grow up in a loving home.

If you do decide to go down this path then you should definitely employ the services of a decent family lawyer. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action while helping you build your custody case.

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