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I need Spousal Maintenance- what can I do ?

In the recent case of Dodt and Elei [2018], Mr Elei and Ms Dodt were in a de facto relationship. The relationship ended and Ms Dodt asked for spousal support.

It was Ms Dodt’s position that she:

  • Had not worked for 5 years
  • She had some training and experience in the hospitality industry
  • She did not wish to return to the hospitality industry
  • She did not have a car
  • In May 2018, she became her father’s carer.

Ms Dodt told the Court that she needed $900 per week to live. Mr Elei said that $800 was a fairer amount of money she needed to live each week.

Mr Elei claimed that he had spent over $180,000 in legal fees to defend the spousal support claim of his ex- partner. The Judge commented that this was an ‘extraordinary sum’ of money to have been spent on defending spousal support!

The fact that Mr Elei had chosen to spend $180,000 in defending this application, showed the Court that he certainly had the capacity to pay spousal support to his ex-partner.

The Court found that Mr Elei had not properly shown his financial position.

The Court ordered that Mr Elei pay $1,350 per week to Ms Dodt! The matter was set down for a ‘call-over’ in December 2018( this means that the matter will be given Final Hearing dates at that time).

It seems Ms Dodt and Mr Elei are a long way off finishing their matter. It also appears that Mr Elei has unlimited financial means and will spend whatever amount of legal fees ( even if extraordinary) to stop his ex from asserting her rights.


This is not legal advice. The information is general in nature. Should you require any legal advice please contact us 

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