Maintenance Family Law Ireland

Blanchardstown, Castleknock, 27 Upper Mount Street, Dublin City Centre

Maintenance Family Law Ireland

There is a legal responsibility on all parents, whether married or unmarried, to maintain dependent children.

Primarily in recent years the focus has been on maintenance for children as there has been a societal move towards independence and clean break of spouses where this can be achieved with other equitable division of finances.

The legal responsibility however on spouses/civil partners to maintain each other in accordance with their means still continues.

Both spousal maintenance and maintenance for children can be paid periodically (i.e., weekly, fortnightly or monthly) or in a lump sum.

Parties can make formal or informal agreements regarding maintenance. This can work well where both parties are reasonable and fair – but it is difficult to assess informally how much maintenance should be paid unless both parties fully disclose their financial situation.

Maintenance can form an important part of financial settlement, and it can be agreed in solicitor led negotiation or in mediation, or determined by Courts in the alternative. Each party must disclose their finances to the court and the judge will consider all of the family’s circumstances when making a maintenance order or an order as part of a divorce or judicial separation order.

Maintenance can be a complicated issue. The best advice is to seek out family law advices early so that you can control your case thoroughly and properly before any financial decisions are made.

Maintenance Ireland FAQs

How to claim spousal maintenance
Spousal maintenance can be a stand alone issue or it can be undertaken as part of a broader resolution of all of the issues arising on seperation or divorce.

Agreement can be reached on a direct basis, a mediator led settlement, or a lawyer-led settlement. In default of Agreement the Courts can determine maintenance.

It will be necessary to particularise your specific income and outgoing needs in a detailed schedule. The court will want to ensure that you are maximising your earning capacity and in settlement discussions transparency is important.

Resolution of maintenance issues, can be broader than periodical maintenance, for example, if one spouse were to hold significant capital, the court can effectively capitalise spousal maintenance and deal with upfront lump-sum payments or periodical payments instead of ongoing spousal maintenance. How the courts deal with maintenance can vary from Court to Court and Judge to Judge, and decisions can be varied and are not always consistent as each case will be determined on its individual facts.

Can maintenance be varied or changed in the future?
It is important to note that spousal maintenance is variable. Either party can apply to the court for an upwards or downwards variation, subject to a specific change in circumstances. 
We were not married, can I claim maintenance against my former partner?
Under the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, a financially dependent qualified cohabitant may be able to apply to the courts for a maintenance order if the relationship ends.

Child Maintenance Ireland FAQs

How much should be paid to child maintenance in Ireland?

Spouses are also required to maintain each other having regard to their means and needs. A spouse can apply for child maintenance payments even if living with the other spouse.

All parents, married or unmarried, have a duty to maintain dependent children.

Sometimes, a person other than the parent may seek maintenance such as a relative taking care of a dependent child who is a legal guardian, or social worker if the child is in the care of the H.S.E.

For the spouse, age, income, and ability to take up employment will be considered for maintenance purposes.

The District Court can only award up to €500.00 per week to a spouse and €150.00 per child per week. If a spouse wants to get more than these amounts they must apply to the Circuit Court. Maintenance payments in Ireland can be paid on a fixed regular basis payments or in a lump sum, it can also be ordered to be paid through the Courts or directly to the parties.

Both the District and Circuit Court can make lump sum orders for maintenance although, at present, the District Court cannot make an order for more than €6,349.00

The amount of child maintenance to be paid varies from case to case depending upon your individual circumstances and individual legal advice including an assessment of the parties’ means is needed to advise fully.

Can child maintenance Ireland be deducted directly from my salary?

Yes, it can. If a spouse fails to do child maintenance payments in Ireland, an Attachment of Earnings Order can be sought from the court if the person is employed. Similarly, an Attachment of Earnings Order can be sought from persons on social welfare or on a private pension. In such circumstances, the employer or organisation that pays the spouse can be ordered to deduct maintenance for children from the salary or social welfare or pension payment.

Can child maintenance Ireland be enforced?

The Court can make an Attachment of Earnings Order as set out above.

In addition, an enforcement order for arrears of child maintenance payments in Ireland can be brought. In certain circumstances, the Court can order for the arrest of a defaulting person.

I lost my job. Can the amount of my child maintenance payments be changed?

Yes. Maintenance for children can be reviewed by the Court if there is a change in circumstances.

The law acknowledges that circumstances change over time.  Maintenance payments in Ireland can be decreased, discharged and similarly, it can be increased depending upon the change in circumstances.

Your Expert Child Maintenance Claims Legal Team in Dublin.

At Carmody Moran Solicitors in Dublin City Centre our experienced family law lawyers are on hand to advise and skilled in handling all nature of child maintenance.

The two partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors in Dublin have a combined total of in excess of twenty five years professional legal experience. Together with their associates they aim to make the Court process as straight forward and navigable as possible while being on hand to alleviate their clients concerns and worries about going through the Court process.


Anthony Carmody


Anthony Carmody is one of the founding Partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors.

He has significant experience in personal injury cases and general litigation having handled literally thousands of cases on behalf of clients based in Ireland and abroad.


Niamh Moran


Niamh Moran is one of the founding partners of Carmody Moran Solicitors and is a solicitor with wide ranging experience across all areas of general practice.

Niamh manages the family lawconveyancing in Dublin, and probate divisions of the practice. Niamh’s practice of law is extremely varied and she is regularly sought out for her expertise by clients and colleagues alike.

*While we have made every effort to provide accurate information, the law is always changing and it affects each person differently. This information is not a substitute for specific advice about you personally and it is not intended as legal advice. We will not be liable to you if you rely on this information. In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with Reg.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

You should note that no solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature shall exist or be deemed to exist between Carmody Moran Solicitors and you until you have received a written letter of engagement from us in which we confirm our appointment as your Solicitors.

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