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To be eligible for maintenance, the low / no income earner must be unable to support themselves because of their age, health, responsibility to care for a child of the relationship under 18 or some other good reason. 

There are also time limitations within which you can apply for maintenance, namely:

  • At any stage up until twelve (12) months after the date of your divorce; or

  • Within two (2) years of the breakdown of your de facto relationship.

If you do not apply within those time limits, you will need leave (that is; permission) from the Court.  This is not always granted and is often a difficult and costly exercise. 

  • Applications for maintenance are tricky, because the law does not set out a specific formula to determine how much needs to be paid.  It is a matter for the discretion of the Court and expert legal advice will assist you to assess your prospects of successfully pursuing or defending an application for maintenance.

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Spousal maintenance is money paid by a spouse (including de facto spouse) to their former spouse. It occurs in circumstances where the former partner or spouse is unable to adequately support themselves.

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