Post-separation and divorce one of the parties in the relationship may be required to provide periodic financial support to the ex-partner or the child from the relationship. There are two types of support mechanisms: spousal support; and child support and maintenance.


Spousal support or maintenance can be applied to those who have been married or living together in a de facto relationship. Essentially it is financial support and it can apply to both men and women, although women are more often the recipients of spousal support than men are.

When a marriage or relationship breaks down and ends in divorce and separation, the ex-partner may volunteer to financially support the other ex-partner by providing periodic financial support for a certain time.

Things such as a suitable standard of living, the financial status of both parties, and the ability to work are taken into consideration. Spousal support does not continue forever. The person providing support may agree to provide support for a short period, for example until the spouse or partner gets back on their feet. Often spousal support commitments will end once the ex-partner enters into a new relationship.


When there are children from the relationship, those children will need to be financially supported until the age of 18 years. However, financial support may continue to a special circumstance of the child after the age of 18 if the child is either of the following:-

  • Student at university;
  • Has a disability; or
  • Suffers a serious illness.

Child support involves at least one parent to provide financial assistance to the child. However, whether one spouse has sole or shared parenting arrangement of the child, both parents are obligated to contribute to the financial wellbeing of the child.  Both parents must mutual agree on the contributions and the length of period it will be provided. If the parents are unable to reach to an agreement, the matter will be attended by the Court.

Child support is where one parent passes on money to the other parent to help support the children. Parents can get together and work out their own system of child support. However, if an agreement can’t be reached, then it may be necessary to go through the court system for arrangements to be made.


We are your local family law experts on the Gold Coast & Brisbane. If you need advice, or help with mediating a spousal support or child support agreement, then make an appointment with a lawyer at our firm to discuss your options.

Our firm can also assist you with the following services:

  • Family dispute resolution
  • Divorce and separation
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