Does my ex-partner have to support me after separation?
The Family Law Act has provisions for obligations for a party to continue to support a former partner financially after separation. Frequently referred to as alimony, however in Australia this obligation is called Spousal Maintenance which can apply to both married and de facto relationships.
Got a question about spousal maintenance?
How it works
This entitlement is not automatic and is determined depending on the relevant circumstances which include:
- A party not having the capacity to adequately meet their reasonable living expenses due to having care of the children; or being unable to gain employment due to a lack of skills or qualifications, age and or physical or mental capacity; and
- The other party having the capacity to provide financial assistance.
The payment can be made on a regular basis for a certain period of time or as a lump sum payment.
A Spousal Maintenance payment is a payment that is received which is a separate to any property settlement.
It is important to adhere to the time limits for seeking Spousal Maintenance being 1 year from date of divorce for a marriage and 2 years from date of separation for a de facto relationship, in order to preserve your rights.