Two types of Spousal Maintenance application
The Family Court or Federal Circuit Court deal with two types of spousal maintenance applications:
Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), a person has a responsibility to financially assist their spouse or former de facto partner, if that person cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their personal income or assets.
Where the need exists, both parties have an equal duty to support and maintain each other as far as they can. This obligation can continue even after separation and divorce. The extent of the support depends on what the other party can afford to pay.
Your age and health
Your income, property, and financial resources
Your ability to work
What is a suitable standard of living, and
If the marriage has affected your ability to earn an income.
The court also takes into account with whom the children (under 18 years of age or adult children who are disabled) live.
Do I still receive spousal maintenance if I start a new relationship?
You are not entitled to maintenance if you marry another person unless the court otherwise orders. If you start a new de facto relationship the court will take into account the financial relationship between you and your new de facto partner when considering whether you are able to support yourself adequately.
Time limit to apply for spousal or de facto maintenance
If you were married, applications for spouse maintenance must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.
If you were in a de facto relationship, your applications for de facto partner maintenance must be made within 2 years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship.
If you do not apply within these time limits, you will need special permission of a court. This is not always granted.