spousal maintenance is usually an item that is hotly disputed between spouses undergoing divorce.
Spousal maintenance is a sum of money paid out to a former husband or wife after a divorce or a separation. It is not paid out automatically as a matter of right. Spousal maintenance is usually an item that is hotly disputed between spouses undergoing divorce.
When a spouse asks for maintenance, there must be proof presented that the spouse requesting spousal maintenance is in need of support. The spouse requesting it can present proof of disease or disability that prevents him or her from obtaining adequate income from paid employment to meet his or her needs for support. The spouse requesting it can also present proof of need when the minor children of the marriage are residing with him or her and taking care of the children prevents the requesting spouse from obtaining paid employment.
In the recently decided case of Beklar & Beklar, the Family Court of Australia ruled that where the husband’s income is greater than that of the wife and when the wife’s chances of obtaining paid employment after the divorce has been hindered by ill-health and years of being out of the workforce, then spousal maintenance must be paid to her.
When the wife has significant expenses because of her ill health and because the minor children of the marriage live with her and her childcare responsibilities diminish her chances of obtaining paid work that will enable her to earn income adequate to support herself and her children, spousal maintenance is proper.
Her entitlement to spousal maintenance is not absolute, however. In this case, spousal maintenance was ordered paid to the wife until she has been re-trained and prepared to return to full-time employment. Her request for spousal maintenance was granted and the husband was ordered to pay spousal maintenance for three additional months.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.