Alimony: What Do I Need to Know Before Divorce?

Alimony: What Do I Need to Know Before Divorce?
divorce lawyer Adelaide

Last Updated on August 13, 2022 by

While separating, most partners are ready to provide financial support to their children but not their partners. As a result, there is a lot of uncertainty and angst that revolves around spousal maintenance. But under the Family Act Law 1975 and Family Court Act 1997, a person can seek financial assistance from their ex-partner under various circumstances. 

What is Alimony?

Spousal maintenance is also known as alimony. It is a form of agreement between two ex-partners who agree to provide financial assistance to the other when they cannot sustain themselves even after the breakdown of their marriage or de-facto relationship. It is different from child support or adult child maintenance because those are specifically for the children.

Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

The spouse or de-facto partner under financial crisis and needs assistance from their partner can file the application form. 

What are the different forms of spousal maintenance?

Here are some forms of spousal maintenance. It can either one form or the other :

  • A lump-sum payment
  • Periodic payment
  • Payment of ongoing expenses
  • Charge of a particular one-off expense
  • Use of an asset like a house or car until property settlement.

When is spousal maintenance allowed?

Spousal maintenance is allowed under the following circumstances :

  • One of the partners has a financial crisis and needs financial assistance to sustain itself.
  • The other partner is capable of providing financial aid.
  • It will be a good situation if support is provided. 

How is spousal maintenance calculated?

The court considers quite a several factors before it allows spousal maintenance. We will be mentioning some of the critical elements, and you can contact divorce lawyer Adelaide for more knowledge about these.

Here are those:

  • The physical health and the person’s mental capacity to earn or continue employment.
  • The standard of life maintained by them
  • If the duration of the relationship or anything related has impacted the earning capacity of the spouse applying for maintenance.
  • If the spouse continues to take care of the child.
  • If the person applying for maintenance has a contribution to the income of the other person.

When can you apply for it?

A person can apply from the day of separation itself. 

How long can you apply for spousal maintenance?

There is a time limit for applying for spousal maintenance. You get a time of 12 months after the date of divorce to apply for it, and after that, you have to lodge a preliminary application where you have to prove that you need the spousal maintenance. 

Divorce lawyer Adelaide provides the de facto couples a time of 2 years from the date of separation to apply for spousal maintenance. 

For how long do you have to pay spousal maintenance?

The time duration for which you have to pay spousal maintenance or the period for which you will receive it is decided by the court, and it varies from one case to the other. The court can order it for an indefinite time or a particular period with a set end date.


These were some of the most common questions about alimony, and we have tried to answer all the basic queries. For more information on spousal maintenance or alimony, you can contact  Matthew Mitchell Solicitors. They will help you out with their experienced team and guide you properly while applying or defending spousal maintenance.

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