Maintenance and Contribution
- Last Updated on 23 April 2013
What is maintenance?
Maintenance is a requirement for one party to pay cash towards the upkeep of the other party. Under the Family law Act, this is only possible where the parties are or were previously married.
Applications must be made no later than 2 years after divorce. If you wish to make an application outside this time, you should see a lawyer or the Legal Aid Commission for advice.
Applications for Spousal Maintenance must be made on Form 5. Download Form 5 or ask your nearest Court Registry for Form 5. If you are able to negotiate and agree upon Spousal Maintenance, the maintenance agreement will be reviewed by the Court and if satisfied the agreement will be registered.
If you cannot agree, your maintenance will be determined by the Court.
Spousal maintenance stops if you re-marry or when you start co-habiting with another person in a domestic relationship or when the recipient or the person liable to pay maintenance dies.
A person is liable to maintain his or her parent to the extent that he or she is reasonably able to do so. Parents wishing to apply for Parental Maintenance must apply on Form 5.
It is a good idea if you agree to provide parental maintenance. You may seek assistance from the Court Counselling Service or Counselling Services offered by other agencies in the community. Any agreement can be put down in writing by your lawyer or if you are not represented, by the Family Court Registrar.
The Agreement will be reviewed by the Court and if satisfied, will issue Consent Orders.
If you cannot agree, this matter will be listed for trial.
A biological father who is not married to the child’s mother, may be ordered by the Court, to make contributions for:
- Financial support for the mother for the period relating to birth of the child;
- Reasonable expenses relating to pregnancy or birth; and
- Funeral expenses for the mother or child if either dies during pregnancy or birth.
You must apply to the Court by using Form 5 at anytime during the pregnancy of the mother or after the birth of the child, but no later than six (6) years after the birth of the child, except with leave of the court.