Maintenance for Children

In Ireland spouses by law have an equal responsibility to maintain any dependants of the family in accordance with their means. If spouses cannot agree on the children’s maintenance, an application can be made to Court for a Maintenance Order.

A Court may make a Maintenance Order directing one spouse to pay maintenance to the other spouse for dependent children. Typically, the child or children must be under the age of 18 years (or 23 years if they are in further education). If a child has a disability and is unable to maintain him or herself then Maintenance support can be ordered for an unspecified period. Both parties will have to disclose to the Court their financial circumstances and the Court will take this into account together with the needs of the child.

Maintenance can be paid in a lump sum or on a regular, periodic basis (i.e. weekly or monthly).

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