Parents, whether married or unmarried, have a legal responsibility to maintain dependent children. Likewise, spouses/civil partners must maintain each other in accordance with their means. A financially dependent qualified cohabitant may be able to apply to the courts for a maintenance order if the relationship ends. If the parties cannot agree upon maintenance, either party can apply to court for a maintenance order.
For more information about maintenance including enforcing and varying maintenance orders made by the District Court, visit the relevant page on the Citizens Informations website.
How to apply
Most applications for maintenance are made in the District Court. Court rules regulate the procedure you must follow to obtain orders from the court. They also include the forms you must complete to make your application.
S.I. No. 93 of 1997: District Court Rules, 1997
S.I. No. 42 of 1998: District Court Family Law Rules
S.I. No. 414 of 2011: District Court (Civil Partnership and Cohabitation) Rules, 2011
S.I. No. 17 of 2016: District Court (Children and Family Relationships Act 2015) Rules 2016
Forms 54.1: Maintenance Summons - section 5(1) (a)
Use this summons if you are married to the respondent
Form 54.3: Maintenance Summons - section 5A(1)
Use this summons if you are not married to the respondent