The need for spousal maintenance often arises alongside division of property and arrangements for the children.
A classic situation is a wife and mother in need of financial support as a result of the breakup of a relationship. She may not be able to look after herself financially until she gets her property entitlement, or it may be longer if circumstances prevent her from being able to fend for herself.
An important part of spousal maintenance for practical purposes is the ability to get interim spousal maintenance to help fund the necessary legal and other professional fees needed for a division of property. These costs are allowable as a budget item for example in a claim by a woman who has to incur significant professional fees to unravel and conduct Court litigation to divide relationship property or property held in a Trust.
While spousal maintenance is often important, it is not always, and you need good legal advice about its necessity or otherwise.