Maintenance is the term to describe where one person provides financial support for their spouse or former partner in a de facto relationship. It can be paid by agreement or as the result of a Court Order. It is different, and can be paid in addition, to child support.
Each party to a marriage or de facto relationship is liable to maintain their spouse or partner:
- to the extent they are reasonably able to do so; and
- if the other person cannot support themselves adequately because of care of children of the relationship, age or physical/mental incapacity for appropriate gainful employment, or any other adequate reason.
Maintenance orders can take many forms including:
- • Ongoing payments (either directly or towards expenses such as rent or insurance);
- • A lump-sum payment;
- • Occupation or transfer of ownership of a home; or
- • Use of a vehicle or other item.
The Court endeavours to make orders that completely separate people's financial affairs and obligations so that neither person is forced to remain connected to or reliant on their former spouse or partner. Maintenance Orders can be made by the Court at the same time as property settlement orders. That allows the court to review the overall distribution of property to each person when considering whether one spouse requires extra support.
If you would like to know whether you are entitled to maintenance or if someone has made an Application for maintenance against you, call our highly experienced Family Lawyers on (07) 3837 3600 or leave your details below and we will be in touch.