A party to a marriage is liable to maintain the other party, to the expent that the party is reasonably able to do so, if and only if, that other party is unable to support herself or himself adequately, whether by reason or having care and control of a child of the marriage who has not attained the age of eighteen (18); by reason of age or physical or mental incapacity for appropriate gainful employment; or for any other adequate reason. The Court will have regard to those factors set out in Section 75(2) of the Family Law Act.
In summary and to put it simply, there is a ‘Threshold Test’. Does the Applicant for spousal maintenance have the ‘need’, because they are unable to support themselves adequately; and if so, then is the payer reasonably able to pay.
De Facto maintenance claims have an additional requirement that the relationship must have been two (2) years in duration, or a child or substantial contributions which would cause it to be substantially unjust if any order were not made.