When considering what amount of spouse/de facto maintenance a party is entitled to receive, or may be required to pay, the starting point is to complete a Financial Statement document as accurately and as truthfully as possible.
If properly completed, the Financial Statement will provide a good indication of in dollar terms the amount of money an Applicant for maintenance will need. It will also give an indication of how much the paying party has the capacity to pay, and therefore will be likely to be ordered to pay.
In the course of negotiating a Financial Settlement, particularly if Court proceedings have been commenced, one party may be required to pay maintenance on an interim basis until an overall financial settlement is being achieved. If this occurs, then it will provide an incentive for the paying party to resolve financial issues sooner rather than later.
If a party seeking spousal/de facto maintenance and is seeking it on a periodic basis, then in most cases it will usually only be ordered to be paid for a limited period.
Conversely it is usually in the paying party’s interests not to have the burden of paying periodic maintenance over an extended period of time. Usually, there is an attraction to deal with the maintenance issue by offering a lump sum to cover that maintenance need, and offering it as an additional proportion of the recipient’s property settlement compared to what they would otherwise be entitled to receive.
Craddock Murray Neumann has a specialised Family Law section with two Accredited Specialists in Family Law, one a former Registrar of the Family Court of Australia. For assistance telephone Dominic Wilson (02) 8268 4000.