There are sometimes circumstances where there is a need for one party to continue to “financially support” the other party following separation and divorce, and even after a property settlement has been finalised. This maintenance may take the form of a periodic payment to cover living expenses (eg. each fortnight or each month), a lump sum payment that is intended to be used over a period of time for living expenses; or direct payments of expenses such mortgage repayments or household bills.
For spousal maintenance to be paid, it must be the case that the party receiving the maintenance is unable to support themselves and has a “need” for support, and the other party is able to meet that need.
It is usually the case that spousal maintenance does not exist beyond a few years. The intention of spousal maintenance is really to provide the party in receipt of the maintenance time to find a way to build their skill-set and develop a way to financially support themselves.
Spousal maintenance is determined on a case by case basis and you should seek advice if you think you may be entitled to spousal maintenance or an application for spousal maintenance could be made against you.
Keep an eye on our Articles and Resources for when we release further information about when spousal maintenance may apply.