Understanding divorce and spouse maintenance

Understanding divorce and spouse maintenance

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Home Page > Law > Understanding divorce and spouse maintenance

Understanding divorce and spouse maintenance

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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 |Comments: 0

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When a marriage breaks down, there are often significant financial consequences for both parties involved. This is particularly pertinent if there is one primary breadwinner in the marriage. Although the relationship has changed, the bills, mortgage and cost of day to day living remains and such payments must be met. The law recognises that separation and divorce can create financial stress and pressure on one or both parties, and it makes provision for fair financial support between both parties. The support comes in the form of spouse maintenance payments.

– What is spouse maintenance? If one spouse is not able to support themselves adequately following a separation, then that spouse may be eligible for spousal maintenance. Under the Family Law Act, one party of a marriage must financially support their spouse to the extent they have the financial capacity to do so if the other spouse is unable to meet his or her expenses and living costs from their own personal income

For spouses who are not financially independent, spouse maintenance payments are crucial for meeting daily living needs.

– What criteria determine spouse maintenance? If a spouse maintenance payment cannot be agreed to outside of the court, the court takes a number of things into consideration when determining a payment amount and the conditions of that payment. These include:

o Age and health of the parties
o The income, property, and financial resources of the parties
o The physical and mental capacity of the parties to work
o Whether either party to the marriage has the care or control of a child under the age of 18 years
o The commitments of each of the parties to support themselves, a child, and/or any other person
o An appropriate standard of living as per the context of the family
o Whether or not the marriage has affected your employability and ability to earn money.

As with many other legal issues following relationship breakdown, it is possible to agree on financial arrangements outside of the courtroom. If this is a feasible option, it is likely to save both parties time and money. If an agreement cannot be reached, spouse maintenance is an important feature of the Family Law Act to ensure the least possible financial anxiety and strain.

Family lawyers in Sydney can help you understand and arrange spouse maintenance payments – whether that be through negotiations or in the court room.

About the Author:
When it comes to divorce, legal guidance and advice is recommended. The family and divorce lawyers at www.wattsmccray.com.au can help you through the divorce process.
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