There are two main types of maintenance; child maintenance (also known as “child support”), and spousal or de facto partner maintenance (ie. “alimony”).

You can apply for child support online via your myGov account.  For further information, contact the Department of Human Services on 131 272 or visit their website: www.humanservices.gov.au. It is worth noting that child support does not account for things like private health insurance or private school fees.

Unlike child maintenance, spousal maintenance is not automatic. Unless your spouse/partner agrees to pay you, obtaining spousal maintenance can be notably complex. Your application needs to establish that:

  1. Your spouse/partner is “reasonably able” to pay; and
  2. You are unable to support yourself adequately.

Both your spouse/partner and your expenses will be critiqued. Several other factors are also relevant, such as yours and your spouse’s age, health, income, parenting
obligations, “a standard of living that in all the circumstances is reasonable” etc.

Given the complexities involved, we recommend that you speak with one of our experienced Family Law solicitors to determine your rights and prospects of success.

Sam Ngai
Senior Solicitor
Family & De Facto Law | Divorce | Children/Parenting Matters

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