Video Transcript:

Hi. Welcome to Video 4 of Module 4: Spousal Maintenance and Spousal Support. My name is Joe Schepis.  I am a Director of Pearsons Family Lawyers.  If this is the first video you're seeing, I strongly recommend that you go to Module 1.

Module 1 contains two videos of important action you need to take right now before you proceed any further. To get to Module 1, you need to go to the Pearsons YouTube Channel or visit our webpage and follow the links from there.

If you are ready to proceed, let's talk about spousal maintenance and spousal support.

A lot of people think that once they separate they're entitled to be supported or their obligation to pay support stops. That is not the case. The fFmily Law Act provides that even after you're separated one parent may have an obligation to provide financial support for the other parent.

We all know that separating from a partner creates emotional turmoil. It also creates financial uncertainty and turmoil as well. This is particularly the case where the parents take on or the parties take on what are known as traditional roles. One person may stay at home, look after children in the household, and devote their time and attention there, whilst the other parent develops their career and career prospects and their income.

When they separate, there's obviously a big void. There's a big difference between their respective financial situations. In that case what happens is the parent who is left without can apply to the court for what's called
urgent or Intra-spousal maintenance.

The way the court approached it is that it looks at the needs of that person to see how much they need to be financial support and maintained on a weekly basis or a monthly basis. They then look at the other parent or person, partner to see how they can contribute to financially support and maintain that person.

The obligation to maintain the partner comes before social Centrelink benefits and the court totally disregards any entitlements or social welfare benefits which are means tested. The usual order is the court will make an order that a parent or person will pay to their partner a weekly amount. Sometimes it can be in addition to mortgage repayments, rates and insurances, and sometimes even a lump sum if that person needs to reestablish a separate household.

When it comes to looking at a property settlement because there's an income differential between the two people that's taken into account. The end result will be that the person who has no income or income earning ability will get a bigger piece of the pie than they otherwise would have got. That is taken into account as well.

The important thing here is to know that there may be an entitlement to spousal maintenance and to make sure the Centrelink is kept informed of any spousal maintenance because that will affect the [pension] entitlements. They need to be kept abreast of what's happening so that there's no come back later on down the track.

That's the end of Video 4. If you're ready to proceed, go to the next video, Video 5 on litigation funding.

All our videos in this Youtube series can be found through the Pearsons Youtube Channel at or by visiting the Pearsons website at and following the links.

Alternatively, if you know that its simply time to see a Family Lawyer, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Please be advised that we must complete a conflict check so that we can only represent one party in a Family Law matter. So if your partner is watching this same Youtube series and engages our services before you do, we advise that we may not be able to talk to you.

Whatever it is that you choose, its our wish that throughout this Youtube series, you can finally gain a sense of certainty so that you know where you stand.



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