What is Spousal Maintenance
in Family Law?
The court has the power to order one party to pay ‘maintenance’ to the other on an ongoing basis. The goal of the legislation however, is to ensure that there is a ‘clean break’ between the parties. Therefore, it is much more likely that spousal maintenance, if payable, will only be applicable on a short-term basis.
A party to a marriage or a de facto relationship is liable to maintain the other to the extent that they are reasonably able to do so if, and only if, the other partner is unable to support themselves adequately.
The reasons for spousal maintenance being payable may be:
- One party having the care of the children of the relationship under the age of eighteen years; or
- Their age or health considerations mean they cannot earn an income; or
- Any other adequate reason.