About Me

Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

Welcome to my blog. This blog is dedicated to helping anyone who is currently in the midst of a liability issue. A few years ago, my daughter contracted listeria due to poorly packaged food. She, thankfully, was okay, but we still took her case to court. I want all families who have been affected by liability issues to understand their rights, so I decided to start this blog. My beautiful daughter is now 17 and preparing to start uni next year. I have three younger children as well and an amazing husband. Thank you for reading my blog. Please share my posts if they help you!

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Safety, Products and Liability: A Legal Blog

Need Spousal Maintenance? Know The Basics

by Liesanne Martin

Spousal maintenance is a key topic where wealth distribution between a separating/ divorcing couple is concerned. With spousal maintenance, the well-off partner contributes some amount of money to the other partner for a specified duration of time. Do you think you need spousal maintenance? If so, learn about the basics of this wealth distribution process below so that you can know how to go about seeking it. 

Why ask for spousal maintenance?

You have a right to ask for spousal maintenance from your partner if you feel that your financial position does not allow you to cater for all your basic expenses for the moment. Such basic expenses include housing, food, clothing, and medical assistance. Note that if you are set to receive a hefty monetary compensation package after the division of wealth process, you may not qualify to seek spousal maintenance. 

Factors that should lead you to seek spousal maintenance

There are a number of factors that should lead you to seek spousal maintenance from your former partner or spouse. These are:

  • You have no job and depended solely/majorly on your partner for financial upkeep.
  • Your job does not pay enough to aid you to meet all your basic financial needs.
  • The end of the relationship has affected your ability to earn an income.
  • Child custody has increased your upkeep needs, e.g. rent for a bigger place.
  • The wealth gotten after the property division process is not enough to aid you to support yourself at the moment.  

When to ask for spousal maintenance

You can seek spousal maintenance at any point, starting from when the separation process starts to after the divorce. If you have been in a de-facto relationship, you too can ask for spousal maintenance from your former partner. According to the Family Court of Australia, married couples have until 12 months past the divorce date to seek spousal maintenance while de-facto partners have 24 months after the end of the relationships. After this timeframe, special permissions would have to be sought from the court to apply for spousal maintenance.

If you cannot agree on the issue of spousal maintenance

It's common for couples not to agree on the issue of spousal maintenance, either on what to receive or whether any support should be given at all. If this is the case, you can file an 'application on maintenance and property division' with the court. If your partner is the one who filed the application for divorce, you can file a 'response to divorce' to clarify the spousal maintenance amounts or conditions.

Either way, if you have decided to ask for spousal maintenance, talk to a family lawyer and know how much assistance you can ask for and for how long, among other factors.