Managing legal battles with family

Spousal Maintenance: Three Critical Issues to Consider after Divorce or Separation

If your relationship with your spouse or de facto partner has broken down, the issue of spousal maintenance might come up following your separation or divorce. In general, spousal maintenance can be defined as the financial aid given by one person to their former partner or spouse. The amount paid is to allow the recipients to support themselves. Here are the critical issues that you should understand if you are interested in applying for spousal maintenance after your separation.

Time Limits on Application

It is important to know that there are time limits imposed on spousal maintenance applications. These time limits are quite strict. Therefore, if you are planning on making this type of claim to the court, it is advisable to act as soon as possible. The specific timeline will depend on your area of residence. In addition, there are different time limits imposed on marriages and de facto relationships. If you fail to make your application before the deadline, you can obtain permission from the court. You might be allowed to apply under special circumstances.

Court Considerations

Applying for spousal maintenance does not necessarily mean that you will be successful. In simple terms, the court will not approve all applications for the support. You must be eligible, and your former partner must be capable. In general, the court will consider a number of factors before making a decision. The most critical of these issues include your age, ability to work and the presence of disabilities. They will also consider whether your relationship has compromised your ability to earn money. In addition, the court will look at your children, the level of care provided and general standards of living.

Payment Plans

If the court approves your application for spousal maintenance, the amount will be paid either in instalments or as a lump sum. The funds can be paid using the former spouse's income or assets can be received instead of money. Usually, a court order outlining the details of the spousal payments will be prepared to avoid problems down the line. If you or your former partner's financial circumstances change, either side can make an application to have the order changed. For instance, the paying party might request the court to dismiss the order if the recipient is earning enough money for self-support. If your former spouse fails to make payments, you can have the court enforce the provided payment order.

When applying for spousal support, consult with family law solicitors for legal counsel for the best outcome.