James Noble Family Law are Australian Family Lawyers located in Brisbane.
Spousal maintenance is a responsibility you or your ex-partner might have to financially support the other person after separation or divorce. In Queensland, de facto partners may have no right to maintenance if they separated before March 1 2009. This is not the case if you separated after this date. Your future needs can be considered when property is divided. In most cases, the courts require that you endeavor to resolve disputes outside of court. We can assist with dispute resolution services. If you cannot agree, you can apply to the court for a financial order.
Protect your immediate financial needs and your financial future
Under the Family Law Act in Australia, both spouses have a duty to support and maintain each other, even after you have separated or divorced. Essentially, the laws are written such that the extent of the support depends on the following:
- One spouse (the applicant) is unable to adequately meet his or her own reasonable needs; and
- The other spouse (the respondent) has the capacity to pay.
When deciding any financial disputes after a divorce proceeding, the Court bases its decisions on the general principles set out in Sections 79(4) and 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975. In summary, the judicial officer hearing the matter will try to decide on what is most fair and equitable, based on the following information (for both spouses):
- Your property, financial resources, income and debts
- Whether the children live with you or your former spouse
- Your age and health (which determines future requirements)
- Your ability to earn, and whether this has been affected by the marriage
- What is considered to be a suitable standard of living.
It is necessary that both parties attempt to reach an agreement outside of court, before filing an application for spousal maintenance orders.
When spousal maintenance applications are filed with either the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court (Federal Magistrates Court), both parties are ordered to undergo “pre-action procedures” including participation in a dispute resolution.
James Noble Family Law are Australian Family Lawyers located in Brisbane, specialising in many area of Family Law, including Spousal Maintenance.
Spousal maintenance is not automatically granted, and often is considered as part of an overall settlement of financial matters.
In rare cases, such as situations involving child abuse, urgency, family violence or fraud, the Court may accept that it is not possible or appropriate for the pre-action procedures to be carried out.
Applications for spousal maintenance must be lodged within 12 months of a divorce becoming final. Later applications require special permission from the court, but this is not always granted. Always seek advice to know your legal options.
To make an appointment please call us on (freecall) 1800 217 217
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