Spouse maintenance

What is spouse maintenance?

Spouse maintenance is a payment made by one spouse to the other to provide for their financial support. This is different from child support.

Can I apply?

You can make an application for spousal support in circumstances where you are unable to support yourself without the assistance of your former spouse.

It is imperative that the spouse being asked to pay maintenance is in a financial position to be able to do so. This is referred to as “capacity”.

What is considered in making such an order?

The Family Law Act sets out various factors the Court considers in determining whether maintenance should be paid. Some factors which are usually relevant include:

  1. The age and state of health of each of the parties;
  2. The income, property and financial resource of each of the parties;
  3. The eligibility of either party to claim a pension, allowance or benefit and the rate of such pension;
  4. If either party is cohabiting with another person, the financial circumstances relating to that cohabitation.

If I am successful, what orders can be made?

Spousal maintenance orders can take various forms, whether it is non-urgent, urgent, by way of lump sum or even by way of transfer of property. It may also be either an interim or final order.