The Family Law Act 1975 is a very detailed piece of legislation that signalled a significant change in the way divorce and separation was dealt with by the courts. In addition to provisions about property settlement, the law also includes provision for spousal maintenance to deal with any financial disparity between the parties through spousal maintenance.
Spousal maintenance is ongoing financial support provided by one person to their former spouse. Australian family law states that both spouses share the duty to support and assist each other, even after separation or divorce. In essence, spousal maintenance support is based on the following:
Spousal maintenance isn’t an automatic right and may or may not be part of an overall settlement. It’s also expected that both parties will endeavour to reach an agreement outside of court, prior to filing a spousal maintenance order application. Taylor & Scott Lawyers are on hand to assist you through the spousal maintenance process and help you get the best deal possible.
Spousal maintenance applications can be filed with the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. Spousal maintenance decisions made by judicial officers aim to provide fair and equitable outcomes, based on the following information provided by both spouses:
Applications for spousal maintenance need to be made within one year of your divorce becoming final. If you are struggling due to financial pressure caused by divorce, contact Taylor & Scott Lawyers to find out exactly where you stand. When you reach an agreement with your former spouse, Taylor & Scott can assist with formalising the documents, and if negotiations reach an impasse, we are ready to help you get the best possible outcome.
Both parties are required to support the other spouse, to the extent possible, after separation. If you are experiencing financial hardship while your former spouse is living a wealthy lifestyle, spousal maintenance may be something to which you are entitled.
The first step in spousal maintenance proceedings is to show that your living reasonable expenses outweighing your income. The second step is to show your former spouse has the capacity to make ongoing spousal maintenance payments without detrimentally affecting their own living situation.
Spousal maintenance orders are usually only made for a limited period of time and usually end on a defined date, for example, upon obtaining a full-time job, completing education or if you remarry or enter into a de facto relationship.
No. Spousal maintenance and child support are not considered taxable income
In tight financial times, every dollar counts, and your regular spousal maintenance payments can make it possible to overcome difficulties and get on with your future. Spousal maintenance is a right worth fighting for, particularly if the welfare of children or other vulnerable persons is at stake, and Taylor & Scott Family Law experts are the mediation and dispute resolution team that gets results.
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