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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.