Strong v Gross [2020] NZFC 3683

Published 03 December 2021

Application for interim spousal maintenance — reasonable needs — ability to pay — mental health — Family Proceedings Act 1980, s 82 — R v Ropiha [1979] 2 NZLR 245 — RKFH v DLH [2012] NZFC 8276 — L v T [2008] NZLR 975. The applicant sought interim spousal maintenance of $5,811 from the respondent following their separation. The parties had been married for 20 years and there were no children of the marriage. The applicant had worked part-time and the respondent had worked in various roles full-time, and owned his own business. Since separating, the respondent had moved overseas and claimed he was no longer employed. In considering an interim maintenance application a court looks at the reasonable needs of the applicant over the period and time in which the order will subsist, and the means likely to be available to the applicant to meet those needs. Medical evidence supported the applicant's submission that she could not work in a role full-time. The amount she applied for was modest, and financial information from the respondent showed he was able to meet this amount. The Judge concluded the criteria in s 82 of the Family Proceedings Act was met and that it was in the interests of justice to grant the application. The Judge made an interim order in a lump sum payment of $5,811 in favour of the applicant. Judgment Date: 27 May 2020. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *