Spousal maintenance can be arranged through regular periodic payments or can be by way of a lump sum. The laws were introduced to reduce the burden on government benefits payable when one spouse is able to financially assist with the other spouse following the breakdown of a relationship. The law places a responsibility on a separated person to financially assist their spouse, if their spouse cannot meet their own reasonable expenses from their own income or assets, if the person has sufficient income or assets to do so.
Spousal maintenance is different to child support for children of the relationship, which is assessed by the Child Support Registrar.
You and your spouse can agree the amount of spousal maintenance without the need to go to Court. If you can reach agreement with your spouse, Clairs Keeley Lawyers in Perth can help you apply to the Court for the agreement to be formalised as court orders, or we can assist you in making a financial agreement. Both of these are enforceable.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse, then you can lodge an application to the Family Court of Western Australia. You will be required to provide the Court and your spouse with information about your assets, liabilities, income and expenditure. Our lawyers at Clairs Keeley can assist you with advice, document drafting and representation with your application.
For any queries regarding matters of spousal maintenance, please consult one of our Perth lawyers by getting in touch with us or filling in the above form.
Spousal maintenance means that the separated or divorced couple is connected financially in the long term. We encourage our clients to consider the effect of this connection in deciding how to design any related property settlement and any changes to existing business entities and tax planning structures accordingly.
Spousal maintenance is one of the aspects of our work where collaborating with financial planners and tax advisers can deliver far better outcomes long term than a family court would order.