Maintenance is financial support received in respect of children and/or spouses. There are no fixed rules as to what sum of money should be paid to a party. It will depend on each party’s income and needs.

Maintenance can be agreed on a voluntary basis whereby an informal agreement can be reached. If an agreement cannot be reached an application to the court can be made.


When parents of a child separate custody and access arrangements can be dealt with by agreement through negotiation or mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached an application to the court can be made. In general, the courts consider that it is very important for the welfare of the child that it should have a relationship with both parents and will always promote this where possible.

By law in Ireland, unmarried mothers are the sole guardians of children born outside of marriage. Unless the mother agrees to sign a statutory declaration then the unmarried father must apply to the court in order to become a legal guardian of his child.

Guardianship means the rights and duties of parents in respect of the upbringing of their children. A guardian has the right to make all major decisions affecting the child’s upbringing, including school arrangements, medical treatment, religious matters, health requirements and decisions about leaving the country. However, it does not mean that Guardian can interfere in the day to day care of the child.

For a confidential chat please feel free to call our specialist family solicitor on 01 833 3097

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