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Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance Advice

If a divorce or separation might leave one spouse in financial difficulties, especially if that spouse is responsible for the care and welfare of the children, it is possible to seek payments from the other spouse to help maintain an appropriate standard of living. These payments can be made as a lump sum or could even last many years. They are known as spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance Advice

The financial side of a divorce or separation can be very stressful to face and assessing whether to claim maintenance from a former spouse requires the involvement of an experienced family lawyer.

Essentially, there needs to be careful consideration of:

  • Is one spouse unable to adequately meet his or her own reasonable needs
  • Does the other spouse have the capacity to pay

Spousal maintenance is not automatic, and is usually considered as part of an overall property settlement.

For an initial appointment to meet with one of our Parramatta family lawyers and take the first step in the legal process, please contact our team by telephone on 02 9018 9408 or by email at info@mahonylawyers.com.au.

Deciding spousal maintenance payments

In many divorces or separations, the spouses themselves come to an agreement about maintenance payments, which their lawyers can then document and draft into Consent Orders for submission to the Court.  

If your legal team has to argue for an agreement in mediation or, perhaps later on, in Court, the law offers some basic benchmarks for spousal maintenance. Each spouse’s property, assets and income have to be assessed in detail, as does their ability to earn a living (this might be affected if, for example, one spouse has to take primary care of children). The Court will need to answer the questions; does one spouse have the ‘need’ for the payment? And, does the other spouse have the ‘capacity’ to meet the need?

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance

How long do spousal maintenance payments last?

Every time the law grants spousal maintenance payments, they will be unique to the family situation at the centre of the case. In making a decision the Court will look into:

  • Your income, property, financial resources and debts
  • Your age and health (which determines future requirements)
  • Your ability to earn a living, and whether this has been affected by the relationship
  • What is considered to be a suitable standard of living
  • Whether the children live with you or your former spouse

Legal advice from Mahony Family Lawyers on spousal maintenance payments

At Mahony Family Lawyers, we have the detailed legal knowledge, experience and dedication to assist you in seeking the best spousal maintenance result possible in your case. We are always ready to understand your case and offer you practical advice. Call us today on 02 9018 9408 or send us an email to info@mahonylawyers.com.au.


Take the next step and let us assist you with our practical family law advice, call us now on 02 9018 9408

info@mahonylawyers.com.au Mon – Fri  9.00am – 1 .00pm  &  2.00pm – 5.00pm

Our Team of Family Lawyers

Jillian Morrison - Principal Solicitor Mahony Lawyers

Jillian Morrison

Principal Solicitor | Family Lawyer Parramatta

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