European Commission > EJN > Maintenance claims > Ireland

Last update: 17-08-2004
Printable version Bookmark this page

Maintenance claims - Ireland

EJN logo

This page is now obsolete. The update is currently being prepared and will be available in the European e-Justice Portal.


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What do the concepts « “maintenance” » and « “maintenance obligation” » cover according to the law of Ireland ? 1.
2. Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance? 2.
3. In which cases is the law of Republic of Ireland applicable? 3.
4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of Ireland apply? 4.
5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department (central or local) or a court to obtain maintenance? 5.
5.a) How do I apply for maintenance from this organisation or government department (central or local), and what procedures apply? 5.a)
6. Can a request be made on behalf of a relative, a close relation, or a child under age? 6.
7. If the applicant plans to bring the case to court, how does he/she knows which court has jurisdiction? 7.
8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court (e.g. a lawyer, specific organisation or government department (central or local) etc.)? If not, which procedures? 8.
9. Does the applicant have to pay fees to bring a case to court? If so, how much are they likely to be? If the financial means of the plaintiff are insufficient, can he/she obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure? 9.
10. What kind of maintenance is likely to be granted by the court? If an allowance is granted how will it be assessed? Can the court's decision be revised to take account of changes in the costs of living or family circumstances? 10.
11. How and to whom will the maintenance be paid? 11.
12. If the maintenance debtor doesn't pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay? 12.
13. Is there an organisation or government department (central or local) which can help me to recover maintenance? 13.
14. Can they replace the debtor and pay the maintenance themselves or part of the maintenance in his or her place? 14.
14.a) if the petitioner is in Republic of Ireland and the maintenance debtor has his/her residence in another country: 14.a)
15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department (central or local) in Republic of Ireland? 15.
16. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted? 16.
17. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted? 17.
17.a) If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in Ireland: 17.a)
18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department (central or local) in Ireland? 18.
19. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted? 19.
20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department (central or local)? 20.

 

1. What do the concepts « “maintenance” » and « “maintenance obligation” » cover according to the law of Ireland ?

Which persons have to pay a « maintenance allowance » to another person :

  • Married parents to their children ? Yes
  • children to their parents ? No
  • a divorced spouse to the other spouse ? Yes
  • Other? Unmarried couples - child only is entitled to maintenance

In which cases?

Maintenance is the legally enforceable entitlement to financial support that dependant spouses (including divorced spouses) and dependant children have against a parent or spouse (or ex-spouse).

2. Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance?

Normally 18 years - but 23 in the case of a child in full time education.

3. In which cases is the law of Republic of Ireland applicable?

Generally Maintenance of Spouses and Children Act 1976 - normally dealt with in District Court with a max payment of €500.00 for spouse, €150.00 per child per week. Unlimited amounts under Judicial Separation and Divorce proceedings are normally dealt with in the Circuit Court - some cases in the High Court.

4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of Ireland apply?

If both the person who asks for maintenance and the debtor are in Ireland:
N/A

TopTop

5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department (central or local) or a court to obtain maintenance?

Normally application is made to the Court by the dependant by way of civil legal action against the other spouse (See No. 3).

5.a) How do I apply for maintenance from this organisation or government department (central or local), and what procedures apply?

See above and No. 3

6. Can a request be made on behalf of a relative, a close relation, or a child under age?

Normally a parent will take action on behalf of an unsupported child. However, the law provides for Guardians (who may be appointed by the Court) and certain statutory bodies to initiate proceedings.

7. If the applicant plans to bring the case to court, how does he/she knows which court has jurisdiction?

See No. 3 for current jurisdictional limits. Where Matrimonial proceedings have already been initiated - application will have to be made to the Circuit or High Court, irrespective of the amount claimed.

8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court (e.g. a lawyer, specific organisation or government department (central or local) etc.)? If not, which procedures?

No, an application can be made personally but a Solicitor is usually instructed. There is a Civil Legal Aid Scheme in Ireland which represents Family Law litigants who cannot afford private legal representation.

TopTop

9. Does the applicant have to pay fees to bring a case to court? If so, how much are they likely to be? If the financial means of the plaintiff are insufficient, can he/she obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure?

No. All Family Law proceedings in Ireland are exempt from normal Court Fees.

10. What kind of maintenance is likely to be granted by the court? If an allowance is granted how will it be assessed? Can the court's decision be revised to take account of changes in the costs of living or family circumstances?

The normal criteria are the balance between reasonable needs and ability to pay. Behaviour can in certain circumstances be relevant (where the claimant has deserted without reasonable cause).

11. How and to whom will the maintenance be paid?

Usually by direct payment to the creditor. However, creditors have an absolute right to have maintenance paid through the Court Office. Where the Court considers it necessary, the debtor's wages or salary can be attached and an employer directed to deduct payments for transmission to the creditor.

12. If the maintenance debtor doesn't pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay?

The local District Court Office can issue proceedings for Nos. 1 and 2 below

  1. By Attachment of earnings
  2. By Attachment and committal to prison

    By Enforcement Summons
    By Civil Action as for any other debt
    By Judgment against property

13. Is there an organisation or government department (central or local) which can help me to recover maintenance?

In each local District Court Office if payment is made under their jurisdiction the Court officer can directly recover payments which have been ordered payable through him/her by issuing Committal Proceedings or Attachment of Earnings Proceedings.

TopTop

14. Can they replace the debtor and pay the maintenance themselves or part of the maintenance in his or her place?

No.
The debtor only is liable for Maintenance, to be paid directly by him or her or deducted at source from his/her salary.

14.a) if the petitioner is in Republic of Ireland and the maintenance debtor has his/her residence in another country:

Under the Maintenance Orders Act 1974 where a Respondent is residing in the UK, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, Maintenance Orders can be made against these parties in this jurisdiction and enforced in the outside jurisdictions. Under the 1994 Maintenance Act if there is an existing maintenance order a Petitioner can apply to a Central authority to enforce the order by transmitting the said order to the Central Authority in the jurisdiction where the debtor resides (once the debtor resides in a country which is a signatory to the New York Convention 1956).

15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department (central or local) in Republic of Ireland?

Yes, normally the Court Officer who is known as the relevant “District Court Clerk” in respect of District Court Orders.

16. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted?

The relevant Court Office can be contacted in the following manner:

  • by telephone
  • by letter
  • attending in person
  • by E-mail.

17. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted?

Assistance with issue of maintenance proceedings for recovery of payments due (See Nos. 12 & 13).

17.a) If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in Ireland:

See No. 14(a) - relates to applications between the UK and Ireland
Depending on where the Petitioner resides he/she may be able to apply to enforce an existing order under the provisions of the Rome Convention 1990 or the New York Concvention 1956 for the recovery of Maintenance payments.

18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department (central or local) in Ireland?

Requests for information can be made to the relevant District Court Clerk as set out in No.15.

19. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted?

See No. 16

20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department (central or local)?

See Nos. 12, 13

« Maintenance claims - General information | Ireland - General information »

TopTop

Last update: 17-08-2004

 
  • Community law
  • International law

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom