Serving clients throughout NSW

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is money paid from one party to another because the receiving party cannot adequately provide for themselves without financial assistance from the other party. The receiving party must show that they have a need that cannot be satisfied without access to welfare and that the other party is financially able to pay. If you need advice regarding spousal maintenance, please get in touch.

Related post: Complete guide to spousal maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions about Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance can be payable to a de facto. But it’s often referred to as de facto maintenance.

De facto maintenance is financial support paid by a party to a de facto relationship that has broken down to their former de facto partner in circumstances where they are unable to adequately support themselves.

The Court can only make a de facto maintenance order if your de facto relationship meets certain jurisdictional requirements.

Many factors are considered when deciding how much spousal maintenance is payable. There is no such thing as a ‘spousal maintenance calculator’ in Australia. We suggest you contact us to learn more.

There is no such thing as a spousal maintenance calculator in Australia.

But it’s helpful to understand how the Court makes its decisions.

The Court considers the needs of an applicant and the respondent’s capacity to pay.

The Court considers the following about both parties:

  • age and health
  • income, property, and financial resources
  • ability to work
  • what is a suitable standard of living, and
  • if the relationship has affected your ability to earn an income.


The Court also considers who the children live with. They must be under 18 years of age or disabled.

See sections 75 (in relation to marriages) and 90SF (in relation to de facto relationships) of the Family Law Act 1975.

Alimony is an American word and does not exist in Australian law.

The Australian equivalent is spousal maintenance (or spousal support).

There are no limits to how long a spousal maintenance order can last in Australia. The Court has wide powers when making orders for spousal maintenance. But the Court will often specify a period of time which the order has effect.