When Can Someone Apply For Spousal Maintenance?

family divorce process

Despite the best wishes of both spouses or the judge during a divorce, it is rare that both spouses are in fact happy with the decisions that are made regarding the splicing of the assets after a marriage has ended. One possibility that does exist for either spouse if they are struggling post-divorce, is to ask for spousal maintenance. This is often something that is granted to the spouse who has been a homemaker whilst the other built a business or made a name for themselves. The idea is that one party sacrificed their potential income so that their spouse could. If you find yourself in need of this then you should always seek legal advice. If you are looking for a family lawyer, Melbourne has several high class lawyers who you could use.

To understand the nuts and bolts of spousal maintenance, read on to find out when you could apply.

The Short Answer

In reality you can apply for spousal maintenance as soon as you have been separated. There will be a form to apply for and you will have to go into the reasons as to why you need to have some level of financial support from your ex-spouse. It is important to remember that spousal maintenance and child maintenance are two entirely separate things. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that child maintenance would be impacted even if you were to be granted spousal maintenance.

Court Appearance

Following the divorce it is likely that the last thing that you wish to do is attend court again, and thankfully you won’t have to. If you work with a lawyer on this then you can ensure that the application is correctly filed, and then the lawyer will be able to argue your case if the application does get rejected.

How Much To Expect

Unlike child maintenance there is no set matrix or calculations that the judge will carry out when it comes to spousal maintenance. There are a huge number of factors that will be taken into consideration such as net worth, monthly income, lifestyle and additional factors regarding personal assets and value of both spouses. Each amount differs from case to case so there is no point in assuming that you will get a certain amount.

The best thing to do as part of your application is to work out a monthly budget for the coming 6 -12 months and use that as a yardstick for how much you will need in order to get by following the divorce.

How Long to Apply?

As discussed you can apply for spousal maintenance from the moment that you are separated, and you will have 12 months before the window of opportunity is closed. This is in place so that each spouse will be able to see how they get on living as an individual, and then should they find the need for support they can ask for it.

Any further questions that you have please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the contact form below this post.

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