What are my entitlements when I separate?

Separation can be an emotionally and financially draining time for both parties and the family as a whole. We look at what your entitlements may be when you separate (subject to individual circumstances).

Child Support

There is an obligation on both parties to provide for the financial support of children following the breakdown of a relationship. Some parties are able to reach agreement as to how children’s expenses will be met however others require the assistance of the Department of Human Services – Child Support to determine an appropriate level of support having regard to each parties’ income, the ages of the children and the time the children spend in each parties’ care;

Spouse Maintenance

In some circumstances one party may be entitled to seek the payment of spouse maintenance from the other. This is periodic financial support paid by one party to another and can be sought on an urgent basis if required. The Court considers the financial needs of the party seeking support, their ability to contribute to their own expenses as well as the capacity of the other party to provide financial support;

Property Settlement

If you are married or have been in a de facto relationship for more than 2 years (or if you have made significant contributions and/or a child is born of the relationship) than you may be entitled to a property settlement with your former spouse/partner;

Government Benefits

In some circumstances, dependant on your financial circumstances and that of your former spouse/partner and the level of support you otherwise receive from them, you may be entitled to a number of government benefits including a single parent pension and family allowance. You should contact the Department of Human Services – Centrelink to enquire as to whether you are entitled to any benefits especially in the immediate period following a separation when the level of financial support from the other party is uncertain.

The above information is generic in nature, so if you have any questions in regards to your specific circumstances following a separation, please contact one of our family law solicitors on 9523 5535.

If you found this article useful, you may also like to read Moving out of the matrimonial home