Spousal Maintenance - is it too late to apply for it?

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To A New Life

17 July 2019
I am part way through a property settlement (started last May 2018 after we separated in April 2018) which my children have had to partially fund as a result of lengthy legal fees.

I am 63 and currently on Centrelink due to medical conditions, throughout our entire marriage I was the primary carer for our children and did menial jobs for spending money as ex only provided the basics eg. paid the house and utilities bills. Ex current salary is in excess of 14k a month!

I recently had an operation to remove cancer cells and have to go back and have this reviewed every 6 months, I'm not in the clear, to see if the big C makes another appearance. If it does, I will need to have further surgery. I have not had any other types of treatment as yet...but may come in the future.

We have 2 properties which were both purchased during our marriage, 1 which I live in (removed from property with AVO), debt free and is solely in my name and the other which is located in a different city that my eldest child lives in and he/she pays the utility bills, rates, water and put a deposit (loan to us as we couldn't get the funds in time for the settlement) etc but not the the mortgage as this is paid for by the ex and is solely in my ex name. I want to keep the later property and am working the settlement towards this.

My question is... As Centrelink have advised that I am no longer eligible for payments, I have no way of financially supporting myself and am in no position medically to look for or return to work. Can I request spousal maintenance at this stage? I was told that it was too late as I should have applied for spousal maintenance at the beginning.

Appreciate your responses.


Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
I was told that it was too late as I should have applied for spousal maintenance at the beginning.

Who told you?... If it was the advice of your solicitor then being familiar with your circumstances it is probably correct.... If that's not so then you may be able to file an application in a case..

Very basically periodic spousal maintenance payments are only made if
1) Your financial circumstances (excluding any govt pension or allowance) is such that you are unable to support yourself
2) That your husband has the capacity to pay SM AFTER taking into account his own living expenses

You may be able to seek some kind of 'in advance' lump sum SM payment from settlement..


Well-Known Member
9 July 2019
My understanding is that you have a year + 1 day after getting divorced to apply for spousal maintenance. I know someone who was able to start spousal maintenance proceedings on this basis