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Spousal Maintenance Calculator Australia
02 Apr 2024

An Informative Guide to Using the Spousal Maintenance Calculator in Australia

By Family Lawyers Mackay, 02 Apr 2024
Spousal Maintenance

Recognising spousal maintenance, like alimony elsewhere, is critical when managing post-divorce life in Australia. Spousal maintenance is Unique from child support. This support is simply a payment made by one former partner to the other to help with living costs in cases where the recipient cannot sustain themselves solely on their earnings or assets.

Our article examines the features of the Spousal Maintenance Calculator in Australia and discusses how calculators can simplify estimating the expense a person may pay or receive. With tools like the spousal maintenance QLD calculator and spousal maintenance Australia calculator, managing the complex rules of alimony in Australia is easier.

Eligibility Criteria for Spousal Maintenance in Australia

Knowing the necessities for suitability is vital for those applying for spousal maintenance in Australia. Here, we highlight the main ideas:

Evidence of Insufficient Self-Support: The party asking for spousal maintenance must prove that they cannot sustain themselves properly while the other party can.

Consideration of Various Factors: Among the various considerations made by courts are:

  • Care of children
  • Age and health of the parties
  • Income, financial resources, and reasonable expenses
  • Impact of marriage on earning capacity

Time Limits for Application: 

  • Married couples: within a year following the divorce date
  • De facto couples: within 24 months from the date of separation

Spousal maintenance is set without taking any mistake or fault that occurred during the marriage seriously. It’s also necessary to remember that getting married again or beginning a de facto relationship could affect eligibility because the new partner’s economic status will be assessed.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Calculating Spousal Maintenance

Computing spousal maintenance in Australia includes a complete calculation of both parties’ economic conditions. Here’s a fundamental analysis:

Determine Financial Needs and Capacity to Pay

  • Needs Assessment: Calculate the applicant’s gross income minus their reasonable expenses to determine their financial need.
  • Capacity Assessment: Based on the respondent’s salary, capital, and liabilities, figure out if they can give to support the applicant.

Consideration of Various Factors

  • The court searches for health, age, revenue, resources, child care, and living costs during the marriage.
  • Other variables include the length of the wedding, each spouse’s involvement in the partnership, and any deals regarding money.

Payment Methods and Duration

  • Based on a contract or court ruling, parties may settle spousal maintenance in a lump sum or periodic payments.
  • Spousal maintenance can be temporary or fixed and is flexible if situations change extensively.

Note: There is no reputable online calculator in Australia, so calculating spousal maintenance responsibilities requires contacting a qualified family lawyer.

Role of Agreement and Court Orders in Spousal Maintenance

In Australia, couples managing spousal maintenance issues are told to seek advice and appear to a mutually acceptable option before going to court. Lawyers can help in discussions and mediate disputes via collaborative law processes or mediation. If a deal occurs, the parties can prevent going to court by establishing the deal through consent orders or a legally binding economic agreement.

The court can still direct any things associated with spousal maintenance, such as transferring belongings, lump sum payments, and periodic payments. It is notable that although court orders offer an ultimate legitimate decision, they are subject to change in the future and thus provide no definitive conclusion. This points out how crucial a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) is as the only way to prevent future spousal maintenance duties. A BFA must abide by rigid legal standards to be enforced and binding. In addition, consulting with a lawyer when preparing a BFA is essential for maintaining its efficiency and legal observance.

A key aspect of BFAs is their ability to oust the court’s jurisdiction to hear a spousal maintenance claim, provided the agreement specifies who will receive maintenance and the amount or value attributable to maintenance. Please identify these details to ensure the provision for spousal maintenance is maintained. This process highlights the importance of precision and legal guidance when drafting a BFA, guaranteeing both parties know their rights and obligations and that the agreement is legally binding.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Spousal Maintenance Provision Based on Family Law Act

Australia has followed the Family Law Act’s legal framework since 1975. Section 72 states the following conditions for the obligation to pay spousal maintenance:

[Spouse’s right to maintenance] A party to a marriage is accountable to supply for the other party, to the degree that the first-named party can do so, if and only if the other party fails to care for their own. This appearance refers to the circumstances that follow:

  1. Because of the reality of being liable for and in control of a child of marriage younger than 18. 
  2. due to old age or a physical or psychological failure to find proper profitable jobs;
  3. for any additional justification that is sufficient;

While an obligation to upkeep a spouse only conveys in the circumstances stated by law, a duty to aid a spouse begins by marriage. Section 74 provides the court broad authority to “make such order as it considers accurate for the provision of maintenance by this Part” after s. 72 establishes an entitlement.

Modifying or Terminating Spousal Support

Payments for spouse support may cease if the person receiving them gets married again, their economic conditions improve, or the supplier dies.

Either party may apply with the Australian Federal Circuit and Family Court to change or terminate the court’s maintenance orders. Hiring a family lawyer could help your spousal maintenance application go more smoothly.

Tax Implications for Spousal Support

The person who gets spousal support doesn’t have to submit taxes on it, while the one who gives it cannot subtract it.

But, if a person is receiving Centrelink advantages. They have to inform Centrelink of their welfare payments.

The Spousal Maintenance Calculation in High Asset Divorces

Computed spousal maintenance in high-asset divorces can be challenging. In high-net-worth divorces, different calculations and income considerations are necessary. Furthermore, the length of spousal maintenance in these situations varies based on the particulars.

Income from High Net Worth Divorces

Calculating spousal maintenance in high-net-worth divorces requires knowing the income of both parties. Payments for spousal maintenance vary by the following:

  • The lifestyle that the couple decided upon together 
  • Every spouse’s income 
  • How each spouse can contribute to maintenance 
  • Every spouse’s legal counsel To keep both spouses’ standard of living, it is imperative to ensure a fair division of income and maintenance payments.

Various Estimates for High Net Worth Divorces

Family law requires that spousal maintenance calculations for high-asset divorces consider each party’s financial situation using the income data from the previous subtopic. This includes having a spouse with a higher income or being in a de facto relationship. A family lawyer can handle the calculation and justification of spousal maintenance. They will also be able to offer direction and clarification for the procedure.

Length of Spousal Maintenance in Divorces with High Assets

The duration of spousal maintenance payments in high-asset divorces typically depends on the recipient spouse’s financial needs.

A few variables that could impact duration are:

  • Decision made by the family court 
  • Each spouse’s financial resources 
  • implications for taxes

The duration may be:

  • In the short term, bridge the gap.
  • Enduring is maintaining a way of life. Determining the length of spousal maintenance in high-asset divorces requires careful computation and evaluation of every aspect.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

What is the cost of spouse maintenance?

In Australia, the payment of spousal maintenance happens personally, considering the payer and the payer’s ability to assist the person receiving it and their monetary requirements. There is no norm since it varies based on individual variables such as income, living costs, and conjugal lifestyle.

Length and amount

The Table summarises the average duration of periodic payments made by these respondents and the average amount they received or paid.

Before analysing the Table, consider the small sample sizes of respondents (n = 38 for duration and n = 28 for quantum data). Therefore, please exercise caution when applying these findings to the broader Australian divorced community, whether they have paid or received spousal support.

Periodic spousal support duration and annual amount by payment or receipt (n=38#)

Spousal SupportReceiptPaymentAll
Duration (years)
Number of respondents201838
Median2 years2 years2 years
Mean2.2 yrs2.6 yrs2.4 yrs
Standard deviation1.6 yrs1.9 yrs1.7 yrs
Minimum3 months3 months3 months
Maximum6 years7.5 yrs7.5 yrs
Amount ($ per annum)
Number of respondents131528
Standard deviation$13,227$4,124$10,228


Note: Cases missing: six months, sixteen dollars (including one $52 monthly periodic amount eliminated as an anomaly). Notably, the values for the male and female recipients were added because their socio-demographic profiles matched those of the other payers and receivers. The table also contains eight instances where periodic support and property transfer were disclosed; the periodic amounts in these cases did not differ significantly from those in which no property transfer was disclosed (p>.05).

The table shows that the average length of spousal support was around two years, with a median annual value of $6,640 ($128 per week). Divorced women stated earning, on average, $10,400 annually, while divorced men disclosed earning, on average, half of this amount ($5,200 annually). However, as the relatively high standard deviation regarding the mean values suggests, there was much variation among individual recipients and receivers. In a severe case, a single respondent had periodic support for a length of three months, while another had it for 7.5 years. While one participant claimed to receive $52,000 annually, another received roughly $520 in periodic backing yearly.

Source: Australian Institute of Family Studies


Operating in Australia’s complexities of spousal support requires an extensive knowledge of financial responsibilities and legal nuances. As outlined in our discussion, from calculating potential payments using the Spousal Maintenance Calculator to exploring the eligibility criteria and considerations that courts make, it’s clear that this area of law requires careful navigation. The intricate balance between meeting financial needs and ensuring fairness underscores the importance of precision in assessing both parties’ circumstances, ultimately aiming to support the economic well-being of individuals post-divorce or separation.

The consequences of spousal maintenance go above the immediate needs of the parties concerned, impacting society’s views of equality and financial assistance in post-relationship scenarios. Individuals who investigate their choices or seek guidance on negotiating these waters gain significantly from the help of qualified experts. For comprehensive assistance and expert advice tailored to your unique situation, consider contacting Family Lawyers Mackay. Our expertise offers simplicity and guidance, ensuring your privileges remain secure and your duties are clear whether you are paying or getting spousal maintenance.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.


How is spousal maintenance determined in Australia?

In Australia, calculating spousal maintenance involves considering various issues such as each spouse’s income, costs, economic possessions, ages and health conditions, and the care arrangements for any children from the nuptials.

Regarding spousal maintenance, what constitutes the “threshold test”?

The “threshold test” for spousal maintenance requires that the applicant prove a failure to back themselves, whereas the respondent must efficiently give the required assets to the applicant.

What is the possible duration period a person in Australia might have to pay spouse support?

Spousal maintenance in Australia can be instructed indefinitely or for a particular time with a set end date. Alternatively, the parties could come to a legally binding financial settlement that removes the necessity for continuing spousal payment of maintenance.

In Australia, is spousal maintenance deductible or taxable?

In Australia, married maintenance recipients who get Centrelink advantages must disclose their payments to the agency. Spousal maintenance, however, can’t be produced by the payer as a tax deduction or as taxable income by the recipient.

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