Maintenance is generally divided into two different categories. Child maintenance and spousal maintenance. Child maintenance is of primary concern to separating couples. Generally, where the children are residing primarily with one of the parties, financial provision will be made for the extra expense incurred by that spouse in accommodating the children. The court cannot order maintenance payments to a partner who is not married. They can make an order for maintenance to be paid for the children, however, even where the parties are unmarried.
In present recessionary times, both of these limits are seldom if ever reached. Under the law, parents have a responsibility to provide for their children financially up and until 18 years of age or 23 years of age where they are in full-time education.The financial needs and monetary resources of both parents are taken into account in District Court proceedings where maintenance is at issue. By contrast family mediation allows the respective parties an opportunity to negotiate their own maintenance terms to tailor suit both their own needs and the needs of the children.
Maintenance arrangements may need to be reviewed as time goes on. The financial circumstances of the parents can change from time to time. Furthermore, the expenses associated with schooling and health care of the children can change as time goes on. Family Mediation Ireland provides parties with an open and fluid mechanism through which the financial needs of the parties and their children can be agreed.