Spousal or de facto maintenance orders provide for a spouse or de facto partner to deliver financial support to their former partner either in a lump sum payment or on periodical basis.
Maintenance of this nature can be ordered in circumstances where a party to a marriage (or a de facto relationship) has the capacity to pay an amount by way of financial support to their former partner, and the former partner has a reasonable need for the financial support.
Generally, this involves the Court considering the income and expenses of each of the parties and determining the appropriate level of financial support to be provided.
In cases where one party has an illness or disability which prevents them from working, the Court is likely to find that they have a reasonable need for financial support and will then consider the other party's capacity to provide support.
Similarly, if a party has ceased employment in the workforce for a significant period to care for the children of the relationship and is then unable to obtain appropriate employment, the Court may order that an amount of spousal or de facto maintenance is appropriate.
If you were married, applications for spousal maintenance must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. If you were in a de facto relationship, applications for maintenance must be made within two years of your separation.
An application for maintenance can be complex and Perth Family Lawyers are well equipped to provide our clients with advice in relation to receiving or paying spousal or de facto maintenance.