The first thing the Court tends to look at is the financial position of the person applying for Spousal Maintenance (the applicant)
Particularly, the court will consider the income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the applicant spouse.
If the applicant spouse has entered into a new de-facto relationship then the Court will also look at the financial arrangements between both of you and the financial circumstances of that new de-facto relationship.
The Court will also then consider the “income earning capacity” of the person applying for maintenance.
This means the court will also look at whether the person applying to receive payment of Spousal Maintenance has any “ability to earn” which they are not exercising.
There are cases where Courts have decided that the person seeking that Spousal Maintenance be paid to them is actually able to support themselves, but they are supporting themselves because they are not exercising the full extent of their ability to support themselves.