What is Spousal Maintenance?

We frequently get asked the questions: What is Spousal Maintenance? Can I get assistance with living expenses after divorce? Do I have to contribute to my former partner’s living expenses after separation?

In some circumstances, in addition to distributing property, it is appropriate for payments to be by one former partner to the other, in order to assist the latter with living expenses. This is called Spousal Maintenance, which is a separate and different payment to Child Support.

Spousal Maintenance is commonly paid prior to a formal property settlement occurring however in some circumstances, it can continue to be paid after a financial settlement has occurred. This can be in the form of regular payments, a lump sum payment, mortgage repayments, utility bill expenses, medical expenses and the like.

This is a very complicated area of Family Law which involves numerous variables to consider. If you are concerned about your ability to meet your expenses after your separation, or you are concerned about maintaining financial ties with your former partner, we suggest that you contact our family law office to discuss how Spousal Maintenance may be relevant to your personal circumstances.

The criteria for receiving or paying Spousal Maintenance depends on your individual circumstances, so it is not possible  to provide a hard and fast rule. However, our family law solicitors in Melbourne are ready to assess your circumstances and provide you with an answer to all these questions and more.