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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