Maintenance

Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors

A child has an absolute right to be supported by his/ her parents. It is in fact a legal responsibility whether parents are married or not to provide maintenance for dependent children. When the parties are together, there is often no problem, although this is obviously not always the case.

Maintenance

A child has an absolute right to be supported by his/ her parents. It is in fact a legal responsibility whether parents are married or not to provide maintenance for dependent children. When the parties are together, there is often no problem, although this is obviously not always the case.

It is generally though when parents of a child separate that maintenance becomes an issue. The amount of maintenance is dependent upon the income of the parents , the needs of either parent, and the child and other dependents. The frequency of the payment is in accordance to the parent or parents’ preference and can be weekly, monthly or in a single lump sum payment.

Maintenance can be agreed between the parties without having to involve legal representation however it should be written down to avoid any misunderstanding. Often maintenance cannot be agreed between the parties though and an application must be made through the courts. It may be the case that with the assistance of solicitors, agreement is reached between the parties before a full hearing and in such circumstances we would recommend that any such agreement is signed by both parties and subsequently turned into a rule of court. This has the same effect as a maintenance order.

maintenance application can be filed in the District court or the circuit court. The District court can award up to €500 per week to a spouse and €150 a week to a child or in the case of a lump sum €6,348.

It should be noted that children are considered dependant is they are under 18 years of age or are under 23 years of age and in full time education. If a child is over 18 but under 23 and has no means of continuing with full time education, a parent can apply for maintenance to support the child into acquiring further education. A child that is mentally or physically disabled and is unable to support him/ herself is not limited by age and maintenance can be sought to support them.

If the person paying maintenance is continuously late in making maintenance payments, the other parent may seek an Attachment of Earnings Order from the court which will instruct their employers to deduct maintenance from his/her salary.

Furthermore a court also has the power to commit the offending parent to prison for failure to make maintenance payments .

Should you have any queries in relation to child maintenance please contact us, Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, on 01 234 0044 or at info@cgsolicitors.ie for further information.

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