How do I apply for a maintenance order?
To apply to the court for a Maintenance Order you should go to your local district court or to the Circuit Court, depending on the amount of money you wish to apply for.
A person seeking a maintenance order at District Court level can go to their local District Court and get the Court Clerk to issue a maintenance summons against the other parent. You will need that person’s address for the summons to be issued. The person will be summoned to appear in court for a hearing of the case. At that hearing a decision on maintenance will be made by the judge based on the circumstances of the case.
Information on applying for maintenance and the forms used is available on the Courts Service website.
Having legal advice and representation is always a good idea. To enquire whether you are eligible for Legal Aid, you can contact your nearest law centre. Legal Aid is not free and everyone must pay a contribution towards costs unless those costs are waived.
It is important to note that paying maintenance does not in itself confer guardianship rights or right of access to a child. These must be arranged separately.