Interim Spousal Maintenance | The Law Concepts and Principles

Section 74(1) of the Family Law Act empowers the Court to “make such order as it considers proper for the provision of maintenance” in accordance with Pt VIII of the Act.

That primary requirement is set out in s 72(1) of the Act, as follows:
(1) A party to a marriage is liable to maintain the other party, to the extent that the first-mentioned party is reasonably able to do so, if, and only if, that other party is unable to support herself or himself adequately whether:

(a) by reason of having the care and control of a child of the marriage who has not attained the age of 18 years;
(b) by reason of age or physical or mental incapacity for appropriate gainful employment; or
(c) for any other adequate reason;
having regard to any relevant matter referred to in subsection 75(2).

The relevant considerations are set out in s 75(2) of the Act as follows:
(a) the age and state of health of each of the parties; and
(b) the income, property, and financial resources of each of the parties and the physical and mental capacity of each of them for appropriate gainful employment; and
(c) whether either party has the care or control of a child of the marriage who has not attained the age of 18 years; and
(d) commitments of each of the parties that are necessary to enable the party to support:

(i) himself or herself; and
(ii) a child or another person that the party has a duty to maintain; and

(e) the responsibilities of either party to support any other person; and
(f) subject to subsection (3), the eligibility of either party for a pension, allowance or benefit under:

(i) any law of the Commonwealth, of a State or Territory or of another country; or
(ii) any superannuation fund or scheme, whether the fund or scheme was established, or operates, within or outside Australia;

and the rate of any such pension, allowance or benefit being paid to either party; and
(g) where the parties have separated or divorced, a standard of living that in all the circumstances is reasonable;

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