Koorey v Lawson [2018] NZFC 2071

Published 21 January 2021

Application for interim maintenance — Family Proceedings Act 1980, ss 62-66 & 82 — Property (Relationships) Act 1976 — Koorey v Lawson [2017] NZFC 6589 — Cooper v Pinney [2016] NZHC 1633 — Ropiha v Ropiha [1979] 2 NZLR 245 (CA) — FH v LH [2013] NZHC 1044 — Tsoi v Hua [2006] NZFLR 560 (HC) — RKFH v DPLH [2012] NZFC 8276. This was a subsequent application under s 82 of the Family Proceedings Act (FPA) for interim spousal maintenance. The parties had been in a relationship for over 20 years and had two adult children. The parties had a traditional marriage in the sense that the respondent husband had been the main breadwinner but he disputed the extent to which the wife had been responsible for the home and childcare. Sections 62-66 of the FPA stipulate the criteria that may be taken into account for determining interim spousal maintenance applications. Each party is liable to maintain the other party's reasonable needs where that party cannot practicably meet the whole or any party of those needs because of one or more of the circumstances specified in s 63. The Judge considered that one or more of the prescribed circumstances applied: the wife's ability to become self-supporting was limited by the division of functions in the marriage and her current earning capacity. The Judge assessed her reasonable needs as being $6,625 per month. The Judge assessed the husband as being able to meet those needs, noting that the husband could not choose to start a new business venture and then claim he had no money to pay maintenance. The Judge made an order that the husband pay the wife interim maintenance in the sum of $6268 per month for a period of 6 months. Judgment Date: 23 April 2018.