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spousal maintenance mediation

Becoming Independent Sooner. How Mediation Can Help You Agree on Spousal Support

The last predicament you want to be in following separation is without money. Yet it’s not uncommon for people to leave a relationship without properly considering everything.  It goes without saying that once separated people can feel the financial brunt very quickly. 

That being the case, it doesn’t mean that you can’t turn things around swiftly through the help of spousal support, sometimes referred to as spousal maintenance.

What is Spousal Support?

In its simplest form its a payment from your ex-partner to you or vice versa. 

The initial step in receiving spousal support is whether or not you meet the threshold test which essentially poses two questions. 

  1. Are you unable to ‘adequately support’ yourself on your income; and
  2. Is your ex-partner ‘reasonably able’ to pay you.

In the case that you qualify by answering “yes” to the above, consideration is then given to what extent your ex-partner should remunerate you.  

Are There Any Time Limits to Spousal Support

Generally speaking,  a spousal maintenance order has to be made within 12 months of becoming divorced ( for married couples  – see Section 44(3)(c) of the Family Law Act 1975 and within 2 years from the date of separation ( for defacto couples – see Section 44(5)(a) of the Family Law Act 1975). 

How Do We Agree on Spousal Support

Reaching agreement on spousal support matters is best done by way of agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement yourselves, this is where mediation can be very useful.  

What Happens After We Reach an Agreement on Spousal Support?

If you have reached an agreement yourselves or through mediation, it is best to have the agreement formalised by way of consent orders through the court.  Your mediator will assist you with this.  Further information can be found in sections 72, 74 and 75 of the Family Law Act.

How Can Mediations Australia Help

At Mediations Australia, we can help mediate matters relating to spousal support and once an agreement has been reached, ensure that the agreement is filed by way of consent orders.  This ensures that if there is any breach of the agreement in the future, the court can adjudicate the matter.  

If you want to know more about how Mediations Australia can help, simply ask one of our Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney mediation team members.

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