At the end of a relationship or marriage, one of the parties may be in a weaker financial position. In some instances, that person will be unable to support themselves without assistance from the other.
Parties to a relationship have a legal obligation to provide ongoing financial support in the form of spousal maintenance, if certain pre-conditions are met. Firstly, the person seeking the maintenance, must establish that he or she is unable to support themselves. It may be difficult for that person to obtain employment because they are responsible for the care of young children or may not have current skills as a result of being out of the workforce. Other reasons could include age or health factors impacting work opportunities.
If the Court is satisfied that the party is unable to support themselves, the other party will be required to pay spousal maintenance to the extent that they have the capacity to do so. This will involve a careful consideration of the income and property of that party to determine the extent to which there are resources available.