MAINTENANCE OF SPOUSES AND CHILDREN
My boyfriend and I broke up 7 months ago. We have two children aged four and seven and he is not paying maintenance. He is working fulltime and takes them overnight most weekends. He refuses to pay money to me for them stating that he buys them clothes and pays for them when they are with him at weekends.
Can you please advise me.
Thank you very much for your email. As parents you both have a legal and moral responsibility to support your children financially. As you are not married, you are the sole custodian of your children and regarded as their Primary Carer. The parent who does not have custody and/or primary care and control of the children is legally obliged to pay money to the parent with custody in respect of maintaining the dependent children. Informal maintenance arrangements can be made setting out how much maintenance has to be paid for both of the children. If you both cannot reach an agreement in relation to the maintenance to be paid to you as their sole custodian and Primary Carer, then you should apply to Dolphin House District Court seeking an Order for Maintenance under the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976. The maximum amount of maintenance that the District Court can order is €150.00 per week per child though it really depends on the children’s needs and the financial means of your x-boyfriend. You can also seek special one off payments from your x-boyfriend for example, at Christmas time or at the start of the school year to go towards the children’s school books and uniforms. An Application for maintenance can be made at any time before your children reach the age of 18 years old or 23 years old if they are in full time education. The amount of maintenance payable by your x-boyfriend is dependent upon the needs of the dependent children and your x-boyfriend’s income and financial responsibilities. Generally, you will have to complete an expense sheet clearly setting out how much money you need on a weekly basis to maintain the children.
I hope that the above is helpful to you.
With every good wish.