I need to financially support my former partner.
So, you’re the primary income earner in your former relationship? Moving on with confidence starts by understanding where you’re at.
We’ve answered 4 of the most commonly asked spousal maintenance questions.
Both you and your partner have a duty to support each other, even after separation or divorce. Spousal maintenance is when one person provides ongoing financial support for their former partner.
The support depends on whether:
- The applicant is unable to adequately meet his or her own reasonable needs
- The respondent has the capacity to pay.
Where the need exists, both you and your partner have an equal duty to support and maintain each other as far as you can – even after separation and divorce.
You have a responsibility to financially assist your former partner if that person is not able to meet their own reasonable expenses from the income and assets they have themselves.
A person applying for spousal maintenance must complete an Application for Final Orders and a Financial Statement outlining how much maintenance they are applying for, how often payments are to be made and who the payments are for.
In deciding a maintenance application, the Family Court takes into account the needs of the party seeking to be paid maintenance and the other party’s capacity to pay.
Other factors include whether the spouse applying for spousal maintenance has the care and control of a child of the relationship who is under 18 years of age, their age, and any physical or mental incapacity preventing them from obtaining gainful employment.
Both you and your partner are required to support children of the relationship after separating, irrespective of the living arrangements of the children. You can reach a private agreement regarding the amount of child support to be paid, or one parent may make an application to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment.
The amount payable pursuant to an administrative assessment is determined by a formula that considers:
- Both parents’ income
- The time each parent spends caring for the children
- The general costs associated with raising the children with regard to their age.
The child support legislation only applies to children under the age of 18 years.
On the other hand, spousal maintenance involves one former partner making payments to the other when an income disparity exists between you. It is not necessary for there to be children of the relationship.