Family Lawyers Newcastle & Central Coast

Take control of your life today with support from one of the top Family Lawyers Newcastle has to offer.

Overview

If you are concerned about how you will make ends meet following separation, it is crucial that you seek early advice in relation to whether or not you are likely to be successful in a Spousal Maintenance application.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Following the breakdown of a relationship, in addition to rights to a Property Division, one party may be required to pay to the other party an amount for financial support.  The payment is usually periodic (weekly or monthly) and can also be paid as a lump sum amount.

Spousal Maintenance is different to Child Support which is payable for the costs of care of the children.

How Can I Get Spousal Maintenance?

Unless you and your ex-partner can agree, you will need to make an application to the Court for a Spousal Maintenance Order.  This can be a costly application to pursue so must be considered carefully.

Am I Entitled to Spousal Maintenance?

You may be entitled to Spousal Maintenance if you can prove that you do not have the capacity to earn enough income to support yourself properly. However, choosing not to work or to exercise a capacity to earn sufficient income will not entitle you to Spousal Maintenance.

Further, you will be unlikely to get an order for Spousal Maintenance if you have sufficient resources (other than income) to support yourself, such as access to a savings account or other assets.

The first step in establishing whether or not you may be entitled to Spousal Maintenance payments is to overcome the ‘threshold test’ which asks 2 questions:

  1. Are you unable to ‘adequately support’yourself on your income; and
  2. Is the other party ‘reasonably able’to pay you?

If it is determined that you are not able to ‘adequately’ support yourself and that the other party is ‘reasonably’ able to pay you, then the Court will give consideration to the extent to which your ex-partner should reasonably be expected to support you, i.e. how much should they pay you? This will ultimately involve an examination of your living expenses and those of your ex-partners.

How Much is the Amount of Spousal Maintenance?

In determining the amount of Spousal Maintenance to be paid, the Court will give consideration to a standard of living that is reasonable in all the circumstances. However, “reasonable” does not necessarily mean the standard of living enjoyed prior to the breakdown of the relationship.

If the Court determines that your ex-partner should pay you Spousal Maintenance, it will then give consideration to how much your ex-partner should reasonably have to pay you. This ultimately involves an examination of his/her income and expenses.

How Soon Can I Make a Spousal Maintenance Application?

Immediately after separation.  Spousal Maintenance may be paid:

  • On an urgent basis until resolution of the Property Division,
  • As a lump sum at the time of the Property Division, and/or
  • Periodically for a number of years following the Property Division (however, this is unusual).

Time Limits

There are important time limits to bear in mind when considering an application for Spousal Maintenance or Property Division.  These are:

For a marriage – 1 year from the date a Divorce Order becomes final.

For a de facto relationship – 2 years from the date of separation.

There are limited exceptions to the time limits so speak to your Family Lawyer if you think you have run out of time.

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More Information

Brochures

Family Law: Statement of Preliminary Advice

TOP 10 Legal Financial Considerations when you are separating

Separation & Divorce

Child Support: the basics

Parenting Arrangements

Property Division

Spousal Maintenance

How We Charge

We offer flexible fee structures and payment arrangements for our clients including:

  • A once-off fixed fee initial consultation ($275 incl. GST) to get you started in Family Law,
  • Hourly rates or negotiated fixed fees for each stage of your matter.

Our Family Lawyers will discuss our fees and charges with you and will provide an estimate of the fees and charges likely to arise in your matter.

 

Call now to speak to a Family Lawyer

1300 553 343

How Our Family Lawyers Help

We will assess the strength of your spousal maintenance claim and provide you with advice in relation to the things you can do to put yourself in the best position to be successful in your application.

If we are of the view that you are entitled to spousal maintenance, we can quickly file your application with the Court.

If you are concerned about how you are going to fund your family law litigation we can help you make an application for a litigation funding Order.

Smart Start Consultation

More Information

How We Charge

We offer flexible fee structures and payment arrangements for our clients including:

  • A once-off fixed fee initial consultation ($275 incl. GST) to get you started in Family Law,
  • Hourly rates or negotiated fixed fees for each stage of your matter.

Our Family Lawyers will discuss our fees and charges with you and will provide an estimate of the fees and charges likely to arise in your matter.

 

Call now to speak to a Family Lawyer

1300 553 343

Testimonials

It is so good to see a professional with such great customer service

You were actually referred to me by one of your previous clients. Just goes to show how strong word of mouth is, especially in this town. There are now more people running around Newcastle saying what a terrific job you do.

From my perspective you are light years ahead of the competition. It is so good to see a professional with such great customer service, who can communicate in a calm clear manner, especially when I am and usually a bit emotional.

Keep up the good work Sam, I like forward to continuing to work with you on my matter.

P


My sincere gratitude for getting this arranged with commensurate alacrity

My sincere gratitude for getting this arranged with commensurate alacrity, it is thoroughly appreciated!

T


A true champion of your profession

Thank you very much for all you have done for me. I had the best nights sleep I’ve had in 4 years last night. Once again thank you for your patience and attitude and commitment for a positive outcome. A true champion of your profession. 

G


Thank you for all your support

Thanks Samantha,

I’m still feeling a little shell-shocked but slowly getting used to the idea that it is nearly all over.

Thank you for all your support – professionally and emotionally. It was a big day and I was glad you were with me throughout the entire process.

J


You have just given our family the best Christmas present ever

“Clare

You are amazing you have just given our family the best Christmas present ever”.

Kaenarelle S.