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Spouse Maintenance

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Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is a form of payment available to people in Australia who cannot financially support themselves due to a separation or divorce.

Also known as ‘alimony’ in the United States, spousal maintenance is where a person pays a periodic or lump sum of money to their former partner. The most common reasons for this arrangement to be made are:

Strict criteria must be met for a spousal maintenance request to be successful. By understanding the laws that surround spousal maintenance, you will have a better chance of being approved and receiving the financial support you need.

What Does the Court Consider?

There are many factors the court considers to approve a request for spousal maintenance.

They consider not just the circumstances of the person who made the request for spousal support, but also the financial capacity of the other spouse and if it is reasonable for them to provide financial assistance.

Some of the most common factors the court takes into account of both people, include:

Do Time Limits Apply?


If you were married, you have 12 months from the date of your divorce to apply for spousal maintenance. If you were in a de facto relationship, you have 2 years from the date of separation to apply for spousal maintenance.

You may be able to submit an application outside of the time period, but only under special circumstances. There is no guarantee an out-of-time application will be accepted.

Why Choose Norwest

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If you need advice on how to apply for spousal support, or you have been requested to pay spousal support and you want to know more about your legal responsibilities, contact Norwest Family Law today.

Simply fill out the online form. You will get a quick response from us.

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