Family lawyers in Melbourne & Ballarat

When a relationship breaks down it can be both emotionally and financially stressful. Whether you earn more than your partner or are worried about how you will support yourself financially, our family lawyers can explain what spousal maintenance is and help you achieve a fair outcome.

Our experienced business advice lawyers can help you choose the best structure for your business both now and in the future.

What is spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance are payments that one ex-partner pays to another to help them meet their expenses after they’ve divorced or separated. Also called alimony or spousal support, spousal maintenance is part of divorce law and can be used to help the ex-partner set themselves up to look after themselves financially moving forward. For example they may need to retrain so they can re-enter the workforce.

Am I entitled to spousal maintenance?

You may be entitled to spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony) if:

  • You’re caring for children who are under 18; or
  • You can’t work because of your age or you have a physical or mental incapacity.

The court will make a decision about whether you’re entitled to spousal maintenance under divorce law, and if so, how much by considering a range of factors about both of you including:

  • Your age and health;
  • How much income, property and financial resources you have;
  • Whether you are able to have gainful employment;
  • What financial commitments you have yourself and for your children;
  • How long you were together for;
  • Whether your relationship affected your ability to earn an income;
  • Your standard of living; and
  • Whether you are living with someone else.

Our family lawyers based in Melbourne and Ballarat can give you advice about your rights and what you may be entitled to.

Different ways spousal maintenance can be provided

Spousal support can come in many different forms and not all of them involve paying cash. Types of spousal maintenance allowed under divorce law includes:

  • Cash payments that are made weekly or monthly. These are often paid for a fixed period of time but can also continue indefinitely;
  • A lump sum payment;
  • Giving your ex-partner the right to live in a home; or
  • Letting your ex-partner use your car.

How does the court decide how much spousal support I get?

As mentioned above, there are many factors that the court will consider when deciding how much spousal maintenance is awarded. Generally, this is divided into two points:

  • What you need to support yourself. This can include looking at what your weekly expenses are and how much you earn or have the potential to earn. Spousal maintenance doesn’t just have to help meet those expenses, it can also allow you to save a little; and

  • What is your ex-partner’s capacity to pay spousal maintenance. This can include looking at how much they earn, what assets they own and what their weekly expenses are.

MNG can help file for spousal support to get you your entitlements

Our family lawyers based in Melbourne and Ballarat have over 20 years experience helping people just like you through their separation and divorce. We know that it’s an emotional and stressful time, so we take the time to listen to you, explain what spousal maintenance is in plain English and outline your options. Once you decide what you want to do, we can then take care of the formalities, like paperwork and court visits, so the process moves as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can change your business structure if you find it no longer meets your needs. Depending on the complexity of your business and the structure you have and want to change to, changing how it’s structured can be relatively simple or may be quite costly.

While it’s not always essential that you have an agreement, for some business structures we recommend that you do have an agreement. For example, a partnership agreement would set out the rights and responsibilities of the partners. Similarly, a shareholders agreement sets out the obligations and rights of shareholders in a company. If you’re establishing a trust, you will need a trust deed to be drawn up.

Some business structures do require specific legal registrations. For example, a sole trader doesn’t have to register their business but a company must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Regardless, if you have a business name that you use publicly it may be worthwhile registering your business name.

Enquire now

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