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Navigating the intricacies of spousal maintenance in Victoria can be daunting. Here at N and C Legal Group, we’ve helped countless individuals understand their rights and responsibilities under the Family Law Act and their entitlements. 

Understanding Spousal Maintenance in Victoria

From our experience, we recommend clients to always be informed about the legal concepts surrounding spousal maintenance in Victoria.

Spousal Support and Maintenance

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is a financial support provided by one party to a former spouse or de facto partner. It is distinct from child support, which is strictly for the financial care of children.

Why Apply for Spousal Maintenance?

In cases where one partner cannot meet their reasonable expenses due to reasons such as physical or mental incapacity or having the care of a child from the relationship, they may be entitled to apply for spousal maintenance.

De Facto Relationships and Spousal Maintenance

Contrary to popular belief, spousal maintenance isn’t just for married couples. Those in de facto relationships have similar rights. If your de facto relationship has ended, and you find yourself unable to support yourself, you may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance from your former de facto partner.

How is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?

The amount of spousal maintenance is not set in stone. Courts consider various factors, including age, health, income, property, ability to work, and the standard of living during the relationship. Asking ‘how much spousal maintenance?’ is a common query, and the answer often depends on individual circumstances.

Spousal Maintenance Victoria

The Role of Periodic Payments

Periodic payments are one form of spousal maintenance payments. They’re usually set at regular intervals, like weekly or monthly. They differ from lump sum payments, which are one-off.

The Link between Child Support and Spousal Maintenance

While child support and spousal maintenance are separate under the law, both play a crucial role in ensuring financial stability post-separation. It’s essential to remember that spousal maintenance is for the other party’s support, while child support is exclusively for the child’s needs.

Physical or Mental Incapacity: A Closer Look

One significant reason a person might receive spousal maintenance is due to physical or mental incapacity preventing them from working. The courts take such incapacities seriously, recognising that individuals in these situations need added financial support.

Making a Spousal Maintenance Order

To have an official spousal maintenance order, you’ll need to apply through the court system. This order will legally bind the payer to provide the stipulated financial support.

Spousal Maintenance

Financial Strains and Seeking Support

Navigating the financial landscape post-separation or divorce can be immensely challenging. This difficulty can intensify when one partner has been economically dependent on the other.

Disputes and Resolutions in Spousal Maintenance

While the principle of spousal maintenance is clear, the application can sometimes lead to disputes. Questions arise like, “How long should one pay spousal maintenance?” or “How is ‘reasonable expenses’ defined?” Addressing these concerns often requires mediation or legal interventions.

Adjusting to New Financial Realities

Receiving spousal maintenance can be a lifeline, but it’s also crucial to understand that it might not last indefinitely. Therefore, it’s essential for recipients to develop a financial plan to adjust to their new economic realities.

Long-term Impact on Both Parties

While it’s the recipient who primarily benefits from the financial inflow, the payer, too, undergoes a considerable shift in financial dynamics. Managing these changes while ensuring compliance with legal obligations is paramount.

Interplay with Property Settlements

Another crucial aspect to consider is the relationship between property settlements and spousal maintenance. Sometimes, an agreement might include one significant payment in lieu of ongoing maintenance. How this impacts both parties, in the long run, can vary.

Legal Support: A Non-negotiable

In all aspects of spousal maintenance, from the application to disputes and eventual payment, legal guidance is invaluable. Having a team like N and C Legal Group ensures you’re well-represented and informed.


In wrapping up, spousal maintenance in Victoria isn’t just about financial transactions. It’s about equity, support, and ensuring that both parties can transition into their new lives without facing undue hardship.

Through our extensive experience at N and C Legal Group, we emphasise the importance of understanding, compassion, and informed decision-making. Our commitment remains, as always, to offer guidance and support in this intricate journey.

If you need any assistance with understanding and discussing your entitlements of Spousal Maintenance in Melbourne, Victoria, please visit N and C Legal Group’s website and explore more about how our services can assist in helping navigate its complex processes.