What is spouse maintenance, and how is it different to child support?
Spouse maintenance is separate from child support. Child support is paid for the benefit of the children, whilst spouse maintenance is for your benefit.
When is spouse maintenance awarded?
The Court can only make an order for spouse maintenance if:
- One partner is unable to meet his/her own needs; and
- The other partner has the capacity to pay for these needs.
How much spouse maintenance is appropriate?
There is no fixed formula to determine how much spouse maintenance is paid. The amount paid is dependent on the specific circumstances of the parties. It is necessary to consider:
- Your age and health
- Your income, property and financial resources
- Your ability to work and
- Whether being a party to the relationship has affected your ability to earn income
The Court also considers what amount is necessary for the receiving partner to achieve a reasonable standard of living. This is not necessarily the same standard of living the partner lead prior to separation.
If you are concerned about payment of spouse maintenance or are unsure whether you may be entitled to such payment, please do not hesitate to contact one of our family lawyers.