Getting a divorce is never easy. Regardless of how good or bad the relationship was, there are emotional scars that take time to heal. But in some cases, the responsibility does not end after your sign the divorce papers.
Family lawyers from Connolly Suthers share some important things you should know if you are getting a spousal maintenance in Queensland.
What is spousal maintenance?
Sometimes, a spousal maintenance is called spousal support. In essence, a spousal maintenance is the financial responsibility one party has over the other following a separation or divorce. Not all divorced or separated couples get spousal maintenance. This only happens when the ex-spouses are unable to support themselves following the separation and the other parties have the ability to contribute.
This responsibility is aimed towards the ex-spouse and no one else. It should not be confused with child maintenance or child support.
When can you apply for spousal maintenance?
Married individuals can apply for spousal maintenance at the time of the separation or any time after the separation or divorce has been finalised. There are cases when a spouse applies for spousal maintenance after deciding to separate, but has not left the conjugal property. The application, however, should only happen within one year from the date when the divorce has been finalised.
Can you file for spousal maintenance if you are not legally married?
In some cases, there are people who get spousal maintenance even if they are not legally married to the other person. For instance, a law in Nova Scotia allows an ex-partner to file and get spousal maintenance if he or she has been living with the partner for at least two years. There are cases when many factors are considered to allow an ex-partner to file for this type of financial support. The best way to know is to consult a family lawyer.
If you are planning to get financial support from an ex-spouse, ask your family lawyer about spousal maintenance. The courts will determine if you are eligible. Do not be afraid to inquire because the support could help you move on with your life following a devastating separation or divorce.