Spousal maintenance can be payable if one party has a need for spousal maintenance, that is that party’s reasonable expenses are greater than their income, and the other has the capacity to pay, which is that party’s income exceeds their reasonable expenses. The age and health of the parties as well as their income, property and financial resources and ability to work will also be taken into account in any application for spousal maintenance. Consideration will also be given to what a reasonable standard of living is, and therefore what reasonable living expenses are, in the circumstances, as well as whether either party’s ability to earn an income has been affected by the relationship, for example, by spending time out of the work force to care for children of the relationship.
An application for spousal maintenance can be made up to twelve (12) months after a Divorce Order becomes final if you were married, or up to two (2) years after the breakdown of a de facto relationship. Parties can however enter into a Binding Financial Agreement which extinguishes either party’s claim for spousal maintenance at any time. A party who has remarried is not entitled to make an application for spousal maintenance. If a party has entered into a new de facto relationship, the financial relationship between that party and their new de facto partner will be considered as part of any application for spousal maintenance.
If you would like more information in relation to making an Application for Spousal Maintenance or entering into a Binding Financial Agreement in order to protect yourself from a spousal maintenance claim, please do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange an initial consultation.